October, 1195. High-spirited young knights, drunken squires, pickpockets and horse thieves are pouring into Exeter for a one-day jousting tournament.
During the tournament there's a serious altercation between Hugo Peverel, and Reginald de Charterai. When, two days later, Sir Hugo's body is found in a barn on his estate, de Charterai would seem the obvious culprit.
But there's no shortage of people who wished the hated Hugo dead. All three of his brothers have a motive; as do his stepmother and his young widow. The manor reeve, Warin Fishacre, had his own reasons to loathe his lord and master.
With so many suspects, Sir John de Wolfe, the county coroner, hardly knows where to begin.