It is the year 1656. Muzaffar Jang - that rare creature in Shahjahan's Dilli, an aristocrat with friends in low places - is recovering from injuries sustained during his recent adventures involving two mysterious Englishmen and some reprehensible activities against the imperial Exchequer.
Muzzaffar's bruised shoulder has yet to heal when he finds himself catapulted into a series of mysteries: An elephant in the Royal Elephant Stables goes berserk and kills its mahout - or does it? A scholarly nobleman - but, oh, such a pompous bore - is left a very puzzling legacy by his father. An artist at the imperial atelier is found murdered next to one of his works.
Muzaffar must pit his wits against treacherous noblemen and scheming traders, greedy villagers, and lovelorn men - and women. But who knows? Before the year is out, Muzaffar may just meet his match...