A young woman, recently widowed, bestows one of her properties on the Abbey of Shrewsbury. In return she expects payment: an annual rent of a single rose, to be delivered on the day of translation of St Winifred. But such a beautiful woman, and with such a substantial dowry, is an attractive proposition for would-be suitors ... and even more so if the house should revert to her. Someone will stop at nothing to prevent payment of the rose- not even murder. To Brother Cadfael, as ever, falls the enquiry into this sensational crime.