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" W]onderful tidbits of Chaucerian scholarship enliven the novel. And whatever you think of Peter Diamond, he proves himself a 'verray, parfit, gentil knyght.'" --The New York Times Book Review
At a Bath auction house, a large slab of carved stone is up for sale. At the height of very competitive bidding, there is a holdup attempt by three masked robbers. They shoot and kill the highest bidder, a professor who has recognized the female figure carved in the stone as Chaucer's Wife of Bath. The masked would-be thieves flee, leaving the stone behind.
Peter Diamond and his team are assigned to investigate, and the stone is moved into Diamond's office so he can research its origins. The carving causes such difficulties that he starts to think it has jinxed him. Meanwhile, as Diamond's leads take him to Chaucer's house in Somerset, his intrepid colleague Ingeborg goes undercover to try to track down the source of the handgun used in the murder.