It is the mid-twelfth century: the Normans have conquered England, the crown is in contention, and violence and corruption continually arise throughout the land. Dame Averilla, Infirmaress of the Benedictine abbey at Shaftesbury, is sorely troubled: a precious collection of herbal lore has gone missing. So has eccentric Dame Agnes - presumed by many to be possessed. Averilla suspects a connection between the losses and the town's wise woman, Galina, rumored to be a witch. But her efforts to solve the mystery are hampered by a discipline-obsessed sub-prioress and the ongoing power struggle between the nuns of Anglo-Saxon heritage and the daughters of the new Norman elite. Evoking all the fascinating color and customs of medieval England, this twelfth-century detective story will delight mystery and history fans alike.