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Oxford, Autumn 1353
St. Frideswide's Fair is a great annual event in Oxford, bringing together merchants and buyers from all over England and Wales, and from as far away as Flanders and France. Yet the earnings from the fair, granted to the Priory of St. Frideswide centuries before, are resented by the town, and resentment can turn to violence.
Under the unscrupulous Prior de Hungerford, even more trouble is brewing. Nicholas Elyot is warned by intelligencer Alice Walsea that attendance at the fair may be used for something more sinister, and not all French merchants may be innocent.
When a merchant from Flanders is attacked and an English traitor is murdered, can Nicholas disentangle the crimes hidden under cover of the fair?