When one of her company falls ill on a return journey to Tyndal, Prioress Eleanor accepts lodging at a nearby manor. There, Master Stevyns’ wife is having an affair with the groom, while a local widow acts more the lady of the manor than the lady herself. The master’s eldest son and spouse are obsessed with sin and heaven, while his youngest son, bound for the church, unexpectedly returns with more interest in lute playing than the priesthood. It is no surprise when someone’s throat is cut, but the sheriff does all he can to avoid offending the family rather than seeking the real killer. When he arrests a servant, she herself is stabbed before she can either prove her innocence or be taken off for hanging. Eleanor must discover the dark secrets that have led to this string of killings before the murderer strikes again.