Exeter, 1195. During renovations at the new school in Smythen Street, funded by Crowner John's brother-in-law Richard de Revelle, a semi-skeletalized body is found in the loft of an outhouse. The coroner is called in to investigate. When the dead man is identified as the missing treasurer of the guild of Cordwainers, de Revelle immediately puts the blame on a young outlaw-a Cornish knight named Nicholas de Arundell-whose Devon manor de Revelle had illegally appropriated while Arundell was away at the Crusades. The ex-sheriff claims the body was dumped there to discredit his new school. The investigation takes on greater urgency when another guild-master is found dead on the road from Tavistock to Exeter. Is Nicholas de Arundell, the "noble outlaw," really responsible? Or could there be another culprit entirely?