A callous murder. A devastating secret. A crime of passion. York, 1373: John Thoresby, the Archbishop of York, lies dying. Owen Archer, Thoresby's master of the guards, is determined to ensure that his lord's last days are as peaceful as possible, but his plans are thrown into disarray when Thoresby agrees to a visit from Joan, Princess of Wales, wife of the Black Prince and mother of the young heir to the throne of England. Owen resolves to do his duty, but within minutes of Joan's arrival things go disastrously wrong when a member of the royal party is murdered. Then, only days later, a messenger carrying urgent letters for Thoresby is found hanging in the woods. As Owen races against time to find the murderer, he starts to realise that not only has one of his own men been compromised, but all their lives are now in danger.