This volume contains three of Brother Cadfael's Chronicles:
ST PETER'S FAIR. An unseemly quarrel between the local burghers and the monks from the Benedictine monastery in Shrewsbury over who shall benefit from the levies on Shrewsbury's annual Fair leaves a merchant dead, and Cadfael is summoned from the peace of his herb garden to practice his skills as a detective.
THE LEPER OF ST GILES. Outside the walls of Shrewsbury is St Giles, a sanctuary for the sick, but also a possible refuge for a wanted man. When a member of a wedding party is savagely murdered, Brother Cadfael finds himself at St Giles as herbalist and as detective in search of the killer.
THE VIRGIN IN THE ICE. In the winter of 1139 civil war brings refugees to Shrewsbury in search of sanctuary. But two orphans and their companion, a nun, don't arrive from Worcester, and Cadfael is despatched from the Abbey to try and locate them in the harsh winter landscape of frost and snow.