The time is 1363, the place England, and Welshman Owen Archer, in the service of the recently deceased Duke of Lancaster, is contemplating his future. He was Captain of Archers in the Normandy Wars, and a treacherous attack has destroyed one of Owen's eyes, leaving his skills impaired. Now John Thoresby, Archbishop of York, a friend to the late Duke, has offered him a job. Sir Oswald Fitzwilliam, a notorious womanizer who was once the Archbishop's ward, has died while on pilgrimage to the abbey at York. He is the second pilgrim to die in the abbey's infirmary in a month, the first having been Sir Geoffrey Montaigne, who had served in the army of Sir Robert D'Arby. The Archbishop suspects murder and wants the matter quietly investigated. Accepting the mission, Owen settles into a room at the York Tavern, next door to the house and shop of Nicholas Wilton, the apothecary whose potions were administered to both victims by the abbey's infirmarian Brother Wulfstan. Nicholas himself is dying, the business being run by his beautiful wife and official apprentice Lucie, a daughter of Sir Robert D'Arby. As Owen discreetly probes for answers, a tangle of old and new alliances and enmities is uncovered and a new future for Owen evolves as the truth--and the villain--are revealed. Packed with detail that enriches but doesn't immobilize a story full of tension, incident, and emotion: a welcome addition, the first of a series, to the medieval mystery genre.