In Cambridge a child has been hideously murdered and other children have disappeared. The Jews, who provide a large part of King Henry's revenue, are being accused of the crimes by angry townspeople, therefore the king wants the real killer found, and quickly. A renowned investigator, Simon of Naples, is recruited, aided by an Arab and a young woman, Adelia Aguilar. There are few female doctors in twelfth century Europe, but Adelia is one of them. Her speciality is the study of corpses; she is, in fact, a mistress of the art of death, a skill that must be concealed in case she's accused of witchcraft. Adelia's investigation takes her deep into Cambridge, its castle and convents, and in a medieval city teeming with life, Adelia makes friends and even finds romance. And, fatally, attracts the attention of a murderer who is prepared to kill again.