A Swedish novelist joins a Scotland Yard detective to solve a crime.
Euthanasia Bondeson is that rara avis of Victorian times: a plain-speaking, independent woman who travels the world with only her beautiful young companion Agnes as chaperone. In 1851, upon their arrival in London to see the Great Exhibition, Agnes gets lost in the throng viewing the remarkable Crystal Palace. While searching for her, Euthanasia meets Professor Devindra, a native of India brought up as a proper English gentleman, and his friends, famous artist Sir Edmund Chambers, his wife Lady Margaret and her sister Ruby Holiday. After finding Agnes and returning with her to their hotel, Euthanasia receives a visit from Owain Evans, a Welsh DCI who is a great admirer of her novels. He gives the ladies a tour of the London slums, where they meet several other intriguing characters, including a clergyman who takes pornographic photos. But a visit to the British Museum with the professor and the Chambers family results in a more sinister disappearance of Agnes. Although Euthanasia is initially oblivious to the possible dangers threatening her companion, she and Evans team up to investigate when a body is found. The remains are not those of Agnes, but when several other young woman disappear, they search among her new acquaintances for a white slaver.
A slow-moving mystery packed with Victorian flavor.