Simon Maldon, a London apothecary, joined with Elizabeth Tudor in the past to solve several murders. As queen, Elizabeth has larger concerns. When she orders Simon to go to Scotland on a mission, he’s reluctant to obey. His brother-in-law’s death, apparently the result of a robbery, was actually premeditated murder, according to a dying man’s confession. Simon’s concerns take second place to the queen’s however, and he leaves with the English delegation.
Mary, Queen of Scots is both Elizabeth’s cousin and a thorn in her side. Is she plotting to take England’s throne? Simon’s task is to judge with an unbiased eye when the delegation offers her a shocking proposal. First, however, they have to reach Edinburgh, and a series of strange events make that doubtful.
As Simon struggles against outlaws and the wild Scottish countryside, back at home his son, wife, and old friend Calkin seek the killer in their midst. All of them will face danger and death, and all will discover strengths they didn’t know they had—if they survive.