Nell Bray wasn't one of the militant suffragettes who planted a bomb in David Lloyd George's house--in fact, she was identified on the scene because she tried to stop the bombing--but now she's threatened with prison unless she accepts an unusual mission from the charismatic Chancellor of the Exchequer: to worm her way into the confidence of barefoot society dancer Oriana Paphos and discover the whereabouts of a cache of politically indiscreet letters Lloyd George is convinced Paphos and her oily manager, Leon Sylvan, have stolen. Since the letters have already caused the death of one would-be recoverer, and the dancer is something of a magnet for unwary males, Lloyd George is convinced that Nell is just the person to look for them at a private staging of Strauss's scandalous opera Salome that Liberal publisher Jack Belter, avid for a title, is staging to lure La Paphos back to England. But the minister's commission makes Nell uneasy for another reason as well: How did His Majesty's Government get such precise information about the bombing? In addition to recovering the compromising letters before they can be sold to a swaggering Germany, Nell vows to identify the police agent who's infiltrated her suffragette circle. Nell's seventh (Dead Man's Sweetheart, 1996, etc.) takes a charmingly retro premise--the fatal letters--and fills them out with colorful characters, false situations, and surprises galore in her sharpest, most ambitious case yet.