Ingram is a coward and weakling - at least according to his father, the king, and the royal court. He cannot use a sword, he faints at the sight of blood, and even his brilliant abilities as a strategist are not enough to overcome his failings. When his father loses a bet to the notorious Lord Mallory over the matter of a dragon slaying, he pays his debt by ordering Ingram to marry him. Then his father reveals that he is putting Ingram to a greater purpose, giving Ingram one last chance to prove he is not worthless. All it requires is betraying his new husband.
Solving a murder is never an easy matter, even when circumstances are ideal. For Basil, circumstances are far from ideal. Because the murder is far more complicated than at first it seems - and before he can even begin to solve it, Basil must contend with a council that refuses to listen to him, a partner he despises, and a thief who is a temptation that Basil cannot seem to resist.