Shrove Tuesday, 1784. While the nobility dance at a masked ball, the beautiful Lady Martesen is murdered. Daniel Clode is found by her body, his wrists slit and his memories blurred and nightmarish. What has he done? Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther race to the Duchy of Maulberg to save Daniel from the executioner's axe. After another cruel death, Harriet and Crowther must discover the truth, no matter how horrific it is. Does the answer lie with the alchemist seeking the elixir of life? Or in the poisonous rumours oozing around the court.