It's late spring in 1321 and as Sir Baldwin Furnshill, Keeper of the King's Peace, prepares for his wedding, he receives news that one of his guests, Roger, Squire of Throwleigh has just died. The new master of Throwleigh is little Herbert, five years old and isolated in his grief, for his distraught mother Katherine unfairly blames him for her husband's death. At Lady Katherine's visible rejection of her son, Baldwin feels deeply disturbed about the new heir's apparent lack of protection. For having inherited a large estate and much wealth, the five-year-old will doubtless have made some dangerous enemies...When Herbert is fatally hit by a horse and cart just a few days later, seemingly by accident, Baldwin and his friend, Bailiff Simon Puttock, suspect foul play. As they begin to investigate the facts, they are increasingly convinced that Herbert was murdered; but little do Baldwin and Simon realise that their investigation will lead them to the most sinister and shocking murder they have encountered yet.