I just finished reading THE DEVIL’S NOVICE by Ellis Peters, and it was really, really good. Absolutely brilliant book. The story excellently captures the look and feel of 12th century England, it is an intriguing murder mystery, and the author has keen psychological insight.
I will limit myself to just two of my favorite quotes from the book:
Afterwards, of course, there were plenty of wiseacres pregnant with hindsight, listing portents, talking darkly of omens, brazenly asserting that they had told everyone so. After every shock and reverse, such late experts proliferate.
And this, too:
Cadfael passed them with his eyes still fixed on the girl Roswitha, whose infinite blue gaze opened on him like a summer sky. The slightest of smiles touched her lips as he passed, and a small, contented brightness flashed in her eyes. She knew that he could not but admire her, and even the admiration of an elderly monk was satisfaction to her. Surely the very motions she had made in his presence, so slight and so conscious, had been made in the knowledge that he was well aware of them, cobweb threads to entrammel one more unlikely fly.
He was careful not to look back, for it had dawned on him that she would confidently expect him to.