Upon hearing of the deaths of his older brothers, Oswald de Lacy has to leave the monastery where he is studying to be a priest in order to take over the management of his family's estate. His mentor, Brother Peter, comes with him. Oswald has not been trained to manage the property as he entered the monastery at age 7 and is now just 17. The Pestilence has changed the estate with half of its residents succumbing to the Pestilence and those that survived are now quite fearful and superstitious.
After his arrival home, Oswald hears of the death of a local girl, Alison Starvecrow, and is told by Brother Peter that it is his job to investigate the death as he is now Lord of the manor. The parish priest John Cornwall believes she has been killed by a demonic dog headed monster and convinces the village people that they are in danger of these creatures. Oswald knows these creatures do not exist but has to deal with the villagers' beliefs in order to solve the crime.
Oswald gets grief from his mother and sister Clemence as well as from John Cornwall as he learns how to investigate the crime and manage an estate as well. He gets alot of advice from Brother Peter who seems to always know what the best approach to a problem is.
I am so happy that someone is writing a medieval mystery series. I haven't seen too many of them lately and miss them. The medieval period is my favorite period in history.
Anyone who loves the medieval era will like this book. The author has well-researched the era and it shows. She has created plausible characters and there are many twists and turns in the solving of the crime. A great read.