This enlarges on a scandal of King James' period which culminated in the Great Oyer of Poisoning in which the principals were Robert Carr and Frances Howard, the former the King's Favorite and constant courtier, showered with honors and wealth, the latter formerly Countess of Essex whose divorce was accomplished by perjury so that she could marry Carr. The charge against them was the murder of Thomas Overbury, the man who had been Carr's mentor, who had refused to recognize Carr's love for Frances, and who had, in flaunting the King's commands, landed in the Tower. Here is the story of Carr's rise, of Frances' indiscretions in trafficking in magic for Carr's love, of her thoughts of murder for her husband and later for Overbury; there comes the time when Carr is delivered into the Howards' power through Frances and his meteoric rise the base of plots against him. The Grand Nullity suit to prove Frances' virginity, Overbury's death, the wedding sanctioned by the King all were steps to Carr's downfall when he came to trial before Lord Chief Justice Coke and, later, Sir Francis Bacon, and Frances' confession saved their heads but not their position at court. The twists and turns of personalities and politics, the secrecies, plottings and a King's torments, the tempests of extravagance and the machinations of pawns -- this reconstructs, detail by detail, both period and persons.