Another of the author's forays into Victorian London's manners and moves (Cardington Crescent, etc.), once again featuring high- born Charlotte Pitt and her stalwart police Inspector husband Thomas. There have been two terrible fires in the prosperous Highgate areaboth of them arson. Clemency Shaw died in the first oneher doctor husband Stephen out on a call; the second took the life of neighbor and friend Amos Lindsay in whose house Dr. Shaw was staying after the destruction of his home and who was again away on call. Pitt is certain Shaw was the intended victim both times but when Charlotte hears (from Great-Aunt Vespasia) of Clemency's little known efforts at unmasking slum landlords in high places, other possibilities surface. Charlotte follows Clemency's footsteps through the worst of London's neighborhoods to be rewarded finally with startling results that seem, even with other factors, insufficient motivation for the unconvincing, melodramatic denouÇment that follows. Heavily padded, repetitive narrative and sluggish pacing don't help. Only the author's finely detailed evocation of the high and low life of another era might make this one worth while.