Lady Frideswide has been poisoned.
It was in no one’s interest to do such a thing. The Lazar House, the leper hospital between Wisbech and Elm, relies heavily on charity, and no one has given so generously as Lady Frideswide de Banlon. Though haughty and unpopular, the longer she lived, the longer the hospital could hope to survive. Yet someone has killed her and the Lazar House faces an uncertain future.
The seneschal, Sir John Bosse, arrives from Ely and, with the assistance of Robert of Tilneye and Sister Agathe, attempts to make sense of it all. As he rolls back layers of falsehood and revenge, he uncovers the many secrets that lie behind the poisoning. It is truth he wishes he never had to discover.
England in 1339 is poised on the threshold of one of history’s darkest times. For the Fenlanders life is no less challenging. Despite the suspicion that surrounds everyone at the leper hospital, care of the sick continues with the same devotion as ever. Even as Ely Cathedral’s great lantern is constructed, ready to become the Isle’s crowning glory, the Lazar House brethren must come to terms with their changes in fortune. For them, life can never be the same again.