Ralph Delchard, a soldier who fought at the Battle of Hastings, and Gervase Bret, a talented lawyer, have been commissioned by William the Conqueror to look into irregularities brought to light during the compilation of the Domesday Book, the great survey of England. Their investigations take them throughout the kingdom, but the pair often find themselves embroiled in more sinister mysteries in the towns they visit. The King’s work is a dangerous business.
A wealthy Yorkshire merchant enjoys the security of his castle, guarded as it is by his pet lions. When the beasts literally make a meal of an anonymous young man attempting to gain entry, Ralph Delchard and Gervase Bret cannot help but wonder why anyone would make such a suicidal effort, and soon suspect there is more at stake.