In this unusual murder mystery, the tranquility of Saint Mary's Abbey is shattered by the discovery of a gruesome crime in a cottage on the abbey grounds. A foreign artist and war hero seeking refuge from the world has been murdered. Marie Paige, the frail, sickly wife of the village doctor, lies beside him beaten into a coma.
The police arrest Marie's husband, convinced that they are looking at a crime of passion. But Dr. Paige finds himself with an unlikely champion: Fr. Gabriel, a blundering but brilliant Benedictine priest who believes in his innocence and feels compelled to search for the truth.
In a country struggling to come to terms with the devastation of the Second World War, even a secluded English village has its share of secrets and broken lives. It is not long before Fr. Gabriel and his companions find themselves embarking on a dangerous journey into the victims' troubled war histories and a chapter of Europe's bloodiest conflict that is almost too terrible to be acknowledged.
"Catholic writer De Maria deserves a wide audience."
— Publishers Weekly
"This exciting murder mystery set in a peaceful English village has a satisfyingly tangled story, and its uncannily perceptive detective, an aging Benedictine monk, is always one step ahead of the police."
— Lucy Beckett, Author, A Postcard from the Volcano
"This marvelous mystery is not a formulaic reworking of an established genre but a wonderful work of detective fiction in its own right. I hope that this lovable Benedictine detective might have many more mysteries to solve in the future. More of the same please!"
— Joseph Pearce, Author, Literary Converts
"De Maria's clear and confident writing produces a 'can't put it down' effect. This story will stay with you for a long time."
— Michael Richard, Author, Tobit's Dog