When a young Italian countess accepts a position at the 16th century Polish court, she expects a lot of excitement. But when a nobleman is murdered, Caterina realizes that excitement comes at a cost. She soon uncovers a web of intrigue, lust, and vengeance that may threaten the safety of the queen herself. Will she find and stop the killer before the next victim is dispatched?
On Christmas 1519, the royal court in Cracow is in the midst of celebrating the joyous season. Less than two years earlier, Italian noblewoman Bona Sforza arrived in Cracow to marry the king of Poland. She is accompanied by a splendid entourage, including Donna Caterina, who oversees the ladies of the Queen’s Chamber.
Caterina is still adjusting to life in that northern kingdom of cold winters, unfamiliar customs, and an incomprehensible language, when a shocking murder rocks the court on Christmas night. It is followed by another a few days later. The victims have seemingly nothing in common; gossip, speculation, and suspicion are rife; but the perpetrator remains elusive as the court heads into the new year.
When the clues begin to point to the queen’s innermost circle, Caterina, aided by Bogdan Konarski, one of the king’s secretaries, sets out to investigate. She soon uncovers a web of intrigue, lust, and vengeance that may threaten the safety of Queen Bona herself. Will she find and stop the killer before the next victim is dispatched?