John the Carpenter has been happy to leave the investigation of death behind. For six years now he’s been content to work with wood. His life looks prosperous, but times are growing desperate. Then the coroner summons him to look at the mysterious death of an anchoress, a religious woman who lived in confined solitude. She’s been murdered. Her father is an important local landowner, a man of influence with the crown. He’s distraught, and the money he offers John to find the killer can solve his problems and leave his family comfortable for life. But the path to the truth leads John to the heart of the rich, and back into history, to places where he’s not welcome and in danger for his own life.