Although we have 300 references to Chaucer in official records, there is a gap from October 1360 until 1366 in which his activities are not recorded. We know that he is sent from the continent to England in October 1360 to deliver personal letters to the royal family; we have no record of him returning to the continent (where King Edward is signing the Treaty of Bretigny with France). A Death in Catte Street accounts for his actions during the two weeks between arriving in England and the return of the King.
A Year in Oxford sees him spending much of 1361 at Balliol, taking an "accelerated introduction" to the Trivium and Quadrivium. During this time, a series of fatal mishaps in the town seem unrelated, until he realizes that they follow a pattern that no one else has noticed.