My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am a huge fan of the Brother Cadfael novels, but this one deserves special attention. The plot itself is rather weak in comparison to the author’s previous Brother Cadfael mysteries as is the love story and the characterization of the secondary characters. The reason I like this particular book so much is the author’s description of how leprosy was dealt with in the Middle Ages. Her descriptions of the leper colony and how lepers were treated are fascinating and lend a depth and majesty to the book that it would otherwise not deserve.
One of the reasons I like historical mysteries so much is that when well written, they allow you to painlessly absorb historical detail. “The Leper of St. Giles” may not be the best written of the Brother Cadfael mysteries from a mystery standpoint, but its historical detail about lepers, leprosy, and leper colonies is what makes this book so memorable.