It is Muster Day in Rufford, Maine, when the local militia is massed to drill in anticipaiton of new conflicts that may threaten the newborn American nation. In this chilly Autumn, violent passions and tempers inflamed in the wake of the recent war of independence still burn white hot. Now two men have been murdered, shattering a small town's fragile peace. And it falls to midwife Hannah Trevor to piece together a patchwork of suspects and motivations that will ultimately reveal a killer. For she alone can save another who is being held responsible for the crimes, a man condemned for craven political purposes rather than for true reasons of guilt: Hannah's love, her groom-to-be, the father of her unborn child.