Florence, October 1587. The Duke of Tuscany drops dead unexpectedly. His brother the Cardinal starts a hunt for his assassin. Or for a suitable scapegoat? Galileo, a brilliant, impecunious - and unscrupulous - young scientist, is struggling to make a name for himself at the corrupt court of the Medici. He is horrified to be arrested as the Duke's murderer: nothing burns so well as a wicked magician! His only hope is to find the real killer - or, at least, a better scapegoat. His search takes him through the piazzas and palaces of Florence, through the barber-shops and brothels, the cloisters and the taverns. Especially the taverns.