This is the first Brother Cadfael I have been talked into reading, and I loved it. The characters are compelling and touching and the perpetrator of the crime is understood by the Benedictine monks, and, thus, the reader. It's the mystery that sucks you in, but it's the character development and the way the author tells of Medieval life that are the value here, I think. At the end, I teared up a bit. I'm anxious to read more about Brother Cadfael and his colleagues!