Most historians think King Edward VII spent May Day 1905 in Paris, but Myers explains his impatience with the press’s attentiveness to his whereabouts by whisking him away to Farthing Court in Kent to attend the wedding of Lord Arthur Montfoy to American soft-drink heiress Gertrude Pennyfather. The King’s presence isn’t the only secret behind the wedding, either. The bride doesn’t know that her penniless bridegroom has sold his estate to wealthy squire Thomas Entwhistle. Nor does anyone in the wedding party know that Entwhistle is really Pyotr Gregorin, a Tsarist assassin sworn to kill his niece’s husband, master chef Auguste Didier—though Didier, dragged along to cook for the King (still another secret, since his royal connections have obliged him to give up his art), certainly tries hard enough to persuade His Majesty and Chief Inspector Egbert Rose that Entwhistle is really Gregorin. In fact, Farthing Court is awash in so many other secrets—discarded royal mistresses, unsuccessful suitors, jewel thefts, nocturnal scamperings—that it’s a relief when a murder, decked out in the trappings of a spurious local legend, finally (finally!) puts paid to the idea of an uneventful honeymoon for the nuptial pair. Overstuffed period folderol from a veteran (Murder in the Smokehouse, 1997, etc.) who deserves her audience’s thanks for reminding them how much Merrie England bric-a-brac was sentimental claptrap from the beginning.