All Saint's Eve, 1211. An overweight but wealthy nobleman, desperate for an heir, dies at the celebration feast he's thrown in his own hall. Is it a natural death, or at the hands of his reluctant new wife? Sabin de Gifford, an apothecary and healer of note, is called to examine the body, and concludes that he died of a spasm to the heart. But she is troubled, all the same, and beset by suspicions. Did the man really die of a heart attack? Or was something more sinister to blame? There is only one person Sabin can turn to for help: fellow healer Meggie, daughter of Sir Josse d'Acquin. But what she requires of her is dangerous indeed.