It is the morning after the nocturnal rite of the good Goddess, an all-female ceremony strictly out of bounds to the male of the species, and the body of a young woman has been found, her throat cut. Suicide or murder?
Hoping to avoid scandal, Senator Lucius Arruntius calls in Marcus Corvinus to do some discreet sleuthing. Marcus is helped in his investigations by a feisty flutegirl and by his clever, loyal wife Perilla (even though her attention is somewhat distracted by the acquisition of a revolutionary new clock). But - inevitably - to solve the mystery, Marcus must look beyond the obvious and first untangle a complex web of treachery and deceit.