Adelaide Porteous had made a good marriage to the great barrister Sir William Porteous, QC and this imperious, beautiful woman was one of Queen Victoria's courtiers, already she has launched two of her three daughters into society. But then disaster strikes. The homicidal dilettante Gideon Raikes, enraged at Sir William's attempts to put him behind bars, engineers a very public attempt on his life. The ensuing investigation begins to disinter some gruesome Porteous family skeletons and Adelaide is forced to contemplate desperate measures to secure the safety of her husband and three children. Set in late Victorian London and rural Essex, this well-written novel features the chirpy but vulnerable Detective Arnold Box and his colleagues of Great Scotland Yard.