This work opens with a discussion of suitable placement for the adventure: basically, anywhere there is a formal 'court' type environment, be it a royal court or a gathering of wealthy merchants or the like. There are detailed suggestions for likely places in the Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms settings, or of course you can pick an equivalent in your own campaign world.
Next, the adventure background sets the scene. It's all about intrigue, of course, but don't just move on if your group doesn't care for such things, there is a clear threat that's going to take swords and spells to defeat. Indeed, the party will probably do better if they are not courtier material! There are quite a few NPCs for you to get your head around, though, so a modicum of preparation is recommeded to run this.
Several hooks are provided to get the party involved, at least one being devious in the extreme! All involve the need to find out why some courtiers have vanished inexplicably. Once enticed in, there are several encounters that take place at the court itself which hopefully lead the party to identify who is behind the shenanigans, even if they don't pick up on his true nature. An unexplained death, a sudden change of opinion, a surprise appointment, even a heated argument... and then things start to get physical with a couple more encounters, one in court and one outside, when the party will have to defend themselves.
By now the party should have a pretty good idea of who is behind the unfortunate events, although there are suggestions as to how to handle parties who aren't quite so discerning, and the second part of the adventure takes them to that individual's manor house where they will find much more than they have bargained for - even if they are already suspicious of his nature as well as of his actions! - once they have got themselves safely through the surrounding forest to the establishment itself.
Now if the instigator manages to get away (and the tactics notes for him provide plenty of ways for him to try to escape as well as suggesting that's his preferred action), he will make a magnificent recurring villain... and one who will have it in for the party. If the party deal with him permanently, they will have friends at court - which can be a boon or a curse depending on whether they like being given dangerous and sometimes diplomatic missions! Definitely recommended, for a skilful mix of intrigue and violence that should keep most parties happy!
[5 of 5 Stars!]