Poer also falls for Alice, the only young woman in the monastery, as does Shardlake, which is another problem. Poer is young, handsome, well formed. Shardlake is older, not nearly as handsome, and a hunchback.
The monks are a sorry lot, for the most part, and they resent Shardlake's presence. They help him grudgingly, and any one of them might be a killer. The investigation takes longer than Cromwell would like, and Shardlake is likely to fall out of favor. The weather is cold, the monastery is dreary, and there aren't many light moments. But the mystery is engaging, and the details of life at the monastery and in Tudor England are fascinating. It's no wonder this novel was nominated for a number of awards.
You're probably going to be ahead of Shardlake on at least half of the solution, but the resolution is satisfactory. The title refers to more than the monasteries, as becomes obvious before you've read too far.
I don't read a lot of historical mysteries, but since George Kelley recommended this series highly, I thought I'd give it a try. I'm glad I did.