The Name of the Rose takes place in the year 1327, Brother William of Baskerville is assigned an investigation of a possible heresy in a wealthy Italian Abbey, Abbaye de la Source.

Brother William of Baskerville arrives to the abbey to see if a truce is possible between the two factions, since there is a suspicion that some of the members of the abbey are against the indulgences. The two factions that believe two different and distinct things: the Italians who believe in the vow of poverty, and the French who want to continue the practice of indulgence. The foundation to our mystery and the history behind what is really going on the background. Although Brother William is on his mission, he is then plagued with mysterious and bizarre deaths accusations of homosexuality between certain monks--so Brother William, aided by Adso, turn detectives. So along with figuring out their current mission, now they must find a killer before the two factions can no longer bare it or settle for a compromise. Even worse are these bizarre events and deaths that keep occurring almost seemingly trying to turn off Brother William from what he came to investigate and solve. But like all stories, every part is connected.

William being the detective that he is uses his tools of logic. A logic so ancient that it was once used by Aristotle, theology of Aquinas, and the empirical insights of Roger Bacon, such tools that bring humor and fierce curiosity to William as a man and character. As William and Adso collects the evidence, deciphers secret symbols and manuscripts, digs deep into a secret parts of the abbey he will find more than he bargained for. It seems that this secret part of the abbey has interesting things that happen at night. William’s enemies are that of secrets, religious rules, and a secret to guard the library. Some lies and secrets that want to remain quiet even at the cost of hurting others and those investigating. William and Adso could soon become targets.

"But if one day, somebody, brandishing the words of the Philosopher (Aristotle) and therefore speaking as a philosopher, were to raise the weapon of laughter to the condition of subtle weapon, if the rhetoric of (religious) conviction were replaced by the rhetoric of mockery, if the topics of the impatient dismantling and upsetting of every holy and venerable image...You yourself would be caught in the devil's plot." This is one of the most memorable quotes you will in the work along with a couple of others, but this will certainly sum up where the book leads.

Seven murders later, William and his apprentice, Adso find that what was being hidden from them was a book of Aristotle.