April, AD 1193: A usurper threatens England's empty throne. Richard the Lionheart languishes in an Austrian dungeon, prisoner of the Holy Roman Emperor. Eleanor of Aquitaine, his mother, searches for a way to free her eldest son, aware her youngest plots to take the crown. When John seizes Windsor castle, Eleanor summons her trusted agent, Justin de Quincy, to do the impossible - mediate a truce with her rebel son. De Quincy cannot but heed his Queen's demand, but he is already ensnared in another matter: the cruel murder of a young girl, daughter of an itinerant Welsh peddler. He is determined to bring her killer to justice and nothing, not even the threat of war, can keep him from pursuing her murderer.