This is another volume in the Sugawara Akitada detective stories. This is set early in his career - prior to all the episodes I have read so far. He has been sent to a remote province to check the accounts of the outgoing governor. This job is complicated by the fact that the last three annual tax caravans to the capital have all gone missing.
Needless to say, Akitada makes an effort to work out what happened to them, as well as solving some other murders that occur while he's in town.
This story also tells of his initial meeting with his retainer Tora, which is a good story in itself.
The characters are good, and the mystery is interesting. There's also plenty of action at the end, as is usual in this series.