Roberta Gellis, the acclaimed author of The Roselynde Chronicles, is in top medieval form with this second tale of life—and death—in twelfth-century London.
Magdalene la Bâtarde is the madam of the Old Priory Guesthouse in Southwark. Together with the handsome Sir Bellamy of Itchen, she solved the murder of Baldassare the Messenger, but this time the murder victim is none of Magdalene's business.
She is not in the least bit sorry to learn that Bertrild, the unpleasant wife of Master Mainard, is dead. Bertrild once accused Magdalene of corrupting her father and causing his death. In fact, Bertrild was insulting to most people, making threats and using terrible revelations as a weapon against those who would not bow down to her demanding ways. However, when it seems that Mainard will be charged with Bertrild's murder—because no one accepts the oath of a whore that he is innocent—Magdalene decides to investigate.
Fortunately, Sir Bellamy is back in London doing his master's business. Unable to refuse Magdalene, he agrees to help her, and the two set out to solve the murder.