Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, 1736. A foggy September evening. When a child is killed by an unknown horseman, musician sleuth Charles Patterson, the only witness close enough to see that the collision was no accident, vows to hunt down the rider. But there are distractions. Richard Nightingale, a fashionable "ladder-dancer", arrives from London to cause havoc with the ladies. A local lad, Cuthbert Ridley, sets the town in uproar for the fun of it. And Kate, a girl from the slums, is determined to become a musician – even though no respectable woman ever performs in public. When Nightingale is attacked, Patterson realises the situation is far more complicated then he thought. Can Patterson find the murderer before someone else dies?