Anthony Trollope finds the beautiful city of Barchester idyllic on visiting it for the first time. This is soon shattered when the body of Thomas Rider is discovered in the almshouses known as Hiram’s Hospital. Trollope uncovers a long-hidden secret which has the power to destroy the reputation of the Warden of Hiram’s Hospital, and his son-in-law, the Dean of the Cathedral. A number of the old bedesmen at Hiram’s Hospital would do anything for the Warden, and his daughters, Eleanor and Susan, have every reason to want the secret kept. With so many suspects, the local police officer is at a loss. The murderer soon strikes again and it falls to Anthony Trollope to unpick the mystery.