Disregarding the Gypsy's warning of a man in gray, Abigail Menory proceeds to the Scottish border castle of her friend Charity for an 1862 visit. But the Borders are as embroiled in family feuding as they were 300 years before, and Charity is involved in a Montague-Capulet number with the neighboring squire, Colin Crichton. Her irascible father has meanwhile gotten himself hooked by shrewish Eleanor Rutherford, who swears she'll sack all the hereditary servants and send Charity's younger sister Hope to a nuthouse. She also insists upon sleeping in the forbidden peacock bed, from which another bride disappeared centuries ago. In no time, Abigail finds Eleanor dead in the famous bed, and then the corpse disappears! Fortunately, there is an inspector of police at hand, not to mention his photographer, Kenith Martin, a dashing ""sensual man--just like the Stuart,"" who takes Abigail's mind off other nastiness by wooing her and then attempting to seduce her. But when he can't, he is willing to relent into marriage. The giddy plot and undistinguished prosing are substantially enlivened by that naughtily astringent romance--so proceed with caution, but proceed.