Alan, the beadle of the manor of Bampton, had gone out at dusk to seek those who might violate curfew. When, the following morning, he had not returned home, his young wife Matilda seeks out Master Hugh de Singleton, surgeon and bailiff of the manor.
Two days later Alan's corpse is discovered in the hedge, at the side of the track to St. Andrew's Chapel. His throat has been torn out, his head half-severed from his body and his face, hands, and forearms lacerated with deep scratches.
Master Hugh, meeting Hubert the coroner at the scene, listens carefully to the coroner's surmise that a wolf had caused the great wound. And yet . . . if so, why is there so little blood?
"This skillfully woven story is a delight to read. The setting is exceptionally well crafted. Highly recommended."
-Davis Bunn, best-selling author