Prince John still plots to seize the throne from his brother, Richard the Lionheart - supported by King Philip of France who offers to help John financially by sending him a mysterious alchemist named Nizam, who claims to be able to turn base metals into solid gold.
But the ship that was transporting Nizam and his retainers is found wrecked off the south Devon coast, its crew savagely slaughtered. Then a Norman knight is foully murdered in Exeter cathedral.
It's up to Sir John de Wolfe, the county coroner, to find a motive and connection between the killings....
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