Grandfather Thackerton has been found stabbed to death in the library of his posh Victorian household--and suspicion rests heavily on governess Harriet Unwin, who prepares to fight for her hard-won status and good name. Harriet's choice for prime suspect: Arthur Thackerton, the loose-living son of the house, who's involved in an expensive extra-marital affair. But dense Sergeant Drewd, after pursuing one false lead, won't listen to Harriet's theories, instead arresting her for the murder. So, as some new light dawns on the heroine/sleuth, she must escape long enough (in a classic jailhouse switch) to close in on the true culprit and produce the evidence that proves her innocence. Hervey lays on lots of stolidly researched period-atmosphere (physical details, dialogue), but Harriet's a flat, unsympathetic heroine--in a Victorian mystery that's short on warmth, wit, and charm.