Val Leary is handsome, charming and broke. On the morning of April Fools Day 1871, while walking through one of Londons wealthiest districts, he notices a young maidservant scrubbing the steps of 53 Northbourne Park Villas. In that instant he conceives the idea for a remarkable case of burglary. The set-up seems perfect, but chance intervenes in a succession of coincidences that place the jewels further and further beyond the reach of Val and his cronies - until... Set in the Upstairs, Downstairs world of Victorian England, this is an ingenious and gripping tale by the acknowledged master of the English crime novel.

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