I had a bit of genre whiplash with this one, as I'd picked it up after a month of binge re-reading urban fantasy. To say that the change in pace required an adjustment is an understatement. So it's possible that this book deserves a higher rating even than the 4 stars I gave it, but the fact remains that as much as I loved the writing, it felt like it was taking forever.
I can think of a few authors who try to use the structure of the book to build up suspense, but I'm not sure I've seen it so effectively done as Ellis has here. Breaking each day into it's own section doesn't sound like much, but - in my edition at least - each day is announced on it's own page, free of any other text; the result was a quiet tension.
Unfortunately, as effective as it was, I still found that the bad guy was telegraphed by virtue of the cast of characters; the person served no apparent use to the plot. The character wasn't the only one I suspected, nor the only one that was seemingly useless, but he was the one that felt the most obvious.
Nevertheless, it was an excellent mystery and brilliant writing. I'm giddy, having so many more adventures with Brother Cadfael to look forward to.
I read this for Halloween Bingo, Murder Most Foul square