Magdalene knew there was trouble brewing in Oxford, with King Stephen bringing together his great council, and her patron, William of Ypres, unexpectedly summoning her. But she never expected to find a murder. Ordinarily nobody would believe that Niall Arvagh of Murcot, one of William's men, would stab a man in the back, even a man as gross as Aimery St. Cyr. But this was a special case. Had Niall killed St. Cyr for claiming to be betrothed to the pretty heiress, Loveday of Otmoor, whom Niall wanted for himself? Or had Niall killed on orders of his master, William of Ypres, for political reasons?