Midwife and healer Agatha Kyteler is regarded as a witch by the superstitious villagers of Wefford, yet she has no shortage of callers, from the humblest villein to the most elegant and wealthy in the area. But when Agatha's body is found frozen and mutilated in a hedge one wintry morning, there seems to be no clues as to who could be responsible. Not until a local youth runs away and a hue and cry is raised. Sir Baldwin Furnshill, Keeper of the King's Peace, is not convinced of the youth's guilt and soon manages to persuade his close friend Simon Puttock, bailiff of Lydford Castle, to help him continue with the investigation. As they endeavour to find the true culprit, the darker side of the village, with its suspicion and jealousy, emerges. And what is driving the young foreigner, son of a nobleman, to disappear down towards the moors?