THE LEPER OF SAINT GILES
> an old Crusader, now a leper
> a child whose mother is a leper
> other lepers
> an orphaned heiress (with no rights of her own)
Eighteen-year-old Iveta, an orphan but heir to a large fortune and to land in four counties, is being married off by her guardian to the powerful Baron Huon de Domville, who is old enough to be her grandfather. The wedding is to take place next day at the abbey in Shrewsbury.
She, however, is in love with one of the baron's squires, Joscelin, and he with her.
Joscelin, whose feelings are becoming common knowledge, is dismissed from the baron's service. When he protests and challenges the baron to a duel, he is accused of theft and arrested, but he manages to escape, and goes into hiding.
That night, the baron is murdered in the forest outside the city. Joscelin is the obvious suspect and the hunt for him intensifies.
Cadfael is, of course, convinced that Joscelin is neither thief nor murderer, but how can he prove it? And how can he help the beautiful heiress, Iveta?
And what was the baron doing anyway, alone out in the forest on the night before his wedding?
Meanwhile, Joscelin has taken refuge among the lepers in a nearby hospice run by the monks of the abbey, and there he is befriended by a tall, mysterious leper whose face is always veiled but who speaks with the accents of the nobility and has the mannerisms to match.
One of the early Cadfael books, and a good one.