A beautiful, wealthy widow turns her back on the world to find solace with the church and gives her house over to the abbey for the rent of a single white rose each year.


(as Rick Stroud)


(screenplay), (novel) (as Ellis Peters)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Eoin McCarthy ...
Kitty Aldridge ...
Tom Mannion ...
Graham McGrath ...
Brother Eluric
Miles Coliar (as Crispin Bonham Carter)
Sarah Badel ...
Paul Whitby ...
Thomas Hynde
Sebastian Abineri ...
Godfrey Fuller
Margery Mason ...
Agatha Coliar
Paul Trussell ...


Wealthy widow Judith Perle still mourns her late husband but is pursued by numerous single townsmen. She has turned her house over to the abbey for the rent of a single white rose each year from the house's bush. But as one admirer is found stabbed, one of her workmen is found drowned, and Judith herself is kidnapped, she thinks entering a convent is her only avenue to peace. Cadfael must identify the killer in order to give Judith a chance of happiness. Written by mama.sylvia

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

12 August 1997 (UK)  »

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[Thomas sits on the riverbank in the pouring rain, staring straight ahead. Hugh and Sergeant Warden appear behind him]
Sheriff Hugh Beringar: May we speak, Master Hynde?
Thomas Hynde: [relieved] You have saved my conscience a journey.
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User Reviews

They must be after her money...
20 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The widow Perle has inspired a crew of would-be husbands (and suspects). But what a strange performance! She blames herself for all the deaths, even that of the rose bush, although she's done nothing to cause them. She tries to flee into a convent. She consults Brother Cadfael and then ignores his advice. Wonder why she and her dead husband had no children despite having such a blissful marriage?

The usual solid performance from Cadfael. Other pluses: Niall Bronzesmith and Master Fuller. Hugh Beringar does well with his bit part. Prior Robert isn't quite as odious as he was in "A Morbid Taste for Bones," but Brother Jerome is his usual insufferably smarmy self. Not so strong: the "kidnapper" who brags about his ability to satisfy women, but quails at a noise heard outside his door.

Cadfael is badly misled here and for a long time does indeed "persecute" an innocent man. It's only by luck that he sees the truth when it's almost too late for it to do any good. It's the acting that makes this worth watching, not the plot.

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