The Beautiful Thread by Penelope Wilcok, picks up where the previous novel, The Breath of Peace, left off. William de Bulmer has returned to St. Alcuins as a layman to help the cellarer manage a big wedding. But in addition to practical concerns and personal issues, the wedding coincides with the regular Bishop's Visitation. Both sets of visitors place additional pressures on Abbot John, and his choice to invite Brother Conradus's mother to help with food brings its own set of problems. However, the biggest problem is that the bishop has heard rumors that Prior William attempted suicide and left the order--both of which are crimes under the law.
While this book can be read on its own, it really makes the most sense with the context of the previous novels, particularly starting with number four in the Hawk and Dove series. The bishop's accusations are correct, but they are taken out of context--and he shows no interest in learning the situations which led to either choice.
I was given a free copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series when it comes out.