1985, Oxford University. Ursula Flowerbutton, a studious country girl, arrives for her first term anticipating nothing more sinister than days spent poring over history books in gilded libraries and, if she's lucky, an invitation to a ball. When she discovers a classmate on a chaise longue with her throat cut, Ursula is determined to bag her first scoop for the famous student newspaper Cherwell. Enlisting the help of American exchange student Nancy Feingold and navigating a whirl of black-tie parties, they discover a surfeit of suspects. And now Ursula may be next on the murderer's list.