This is the third story involving Inspector Morimoto and his assistant, Officer Suzuki. The ancient tradition of pottery making in the Bizen region is at the heart of their new case, and they quickly become immersed in the feud of a proud and famous family of potters--a family that has suddenly shrunk in size thanks to the work of a lethal poison. The whole of Japan is shocked when the gruesome details become known, and the Chief of Police is acutely aware that the Police Department's reputation hangs in the balance every time he fields questions on live television during his daily press conferences.
Even though they are forced to work in the national limelight, Morimoto and Suzuki calmly rely on their unparalleled skills of deductive reasoning as they sort through the clues. Mr. Bando, one of Okayama's most prominent lawyers, has an extraordinary tale to tell them, and the cherry blossoms around the temples provide spectacular viewing when they visit Kyoto. As they grapple with the intriguing puzzles that they uncover, Morimoto and Suzuki realize that the essence of the case is the interaction between trust and mistrust, and one man's dream for the future of Bizen pottery.