Those who meddle in the affairs of kings live to regret it.
But sometimes they have little choice. Mistress Kate Clifford has already faced danger (A Twisted Vengeance, 2017, etc.) in Henry IV’s victory over his cousin Richard II, who's been imprisoned. She finds it difficult to refuse when Lady Margery Kirkby begs her to hide her in her guesthouse in York, if only for a night. Lady Margery’s husband, who’d been trying to broker a peaceful settlement between the cousins, was killed by a mob in Cirencester, and she barely escaped with her life. Kate’s overcome a difficult marriage and the deaths of most of her family to thrive financially in York, where she’s raising a niece and her late husband’s two bastard children. Her mother’s also living in York, where she keeps a house for women who are devoted but not pledged as nuns. But Kate's confidant and servant, Berend, has left without a word, and she’s not sure that she can trust Sir Elric, a knight who keeps watch over York for his lord, the Earl of Westmoreland. The king has ordered a search for Lady Margery. Kate’s still keeping secrets from Elric, who swears he’ll defend her and Berend, who has reappeared. Protected by her wolfhounds and her considerable skill with ax and knife, Kate travels the town, using her many sources to learn more, especially after a man is murdered and Berend is suspected. In a world filled with deceit, Kate must tread a cautious path as she seeks the killer in order to clear Berend, who plans to escort Lady Margery to safety. Although Kate and Elric have both been burned by Kate’s lack of trust, they still love each other, and she must depend on him and the men he commands to help her.
A convoluted tale of love and murder set in a turbulent period when death and betrayal lurk around every corner.