'It's a cesspit of conspiracy. Plot and counterplot prevail. If we're to survive we need to know who our enemies are, the ones who work in darkness against the realm.' Autumn, 1386. Hildegard of Meaux - a Cistercian abbess with a keen instinct for crime solving - is accompanying the Archbishop of York to London. When the Archbishop's saucier is found brutally murdered in an ale vat amidst preparations to leave, it emerges that the culprit must be one of the Archbishop's party. The journey from York to London is fraught with more deadly surprises, and it becomes clear to Hildegard that this sinister plot may also involve King Richard, and those looking to depose him at all costs. Traitors, murderers, noblemen and madmen come together to create a puzzling scheme that only Hildegard can solve.