Blackwell North Amer When Cambridge proctor Brother Michael receives an urgent summons from the Bishop of Ely, he asks his friend, physician Matthew Bartholomew, to accompany him. Bartholomew is planning to use the visit to research his treatise on fevers, but when they reach Ely, it is different type of malady they find gripping the town. Glovere was the little-liked steward of Lady Blanche de Wake, a close relative of the king. A nasty, malicious gossip, his body was discovered by the banks of the River Ouse just days after the bishop had publicly threatened him with such an eventuality. The bishop, though, protests his innocence and is as desperate for Brother Michael to clear his name as both Lady Blanche and the scheming town prior are to find him guilty. When Bartholomew inspects the body, the realises that Glovere didn't drown through his own drunkenness: someone stabbed him carefully and precisely in the back of the neck. And Glovere wasn't the only person to die this way: two locals, both thought to have committed suicide, have also been killed in the same manner. Bartholomew realises, whoever the murderer is, is getting better and better at his modus operandi.