Crinolined Olivia Selkirk, an orphan, is reprieved from a nunnery in Scotland (not the most popular place to be in Scotland) by an offer to be bookkeeper to pretty Lady Edina Dunkieth, who is married to an aged invalid kept locked up on the grounds of Duncraigie Castle. Dark, womanizing Lord Francis Sinclair catches Olivia's eye at once, especially when he kisses her: ""We looked at each other and for me it was revelation."" She first runs away, then marries him. But someone is trying to kill her, all too predictably, and worse yet, lying about it. Could it be Francis? Edina? The gloating housekeeper Mrs. Ardgowan? Why is the old Lord kept locked up? Who are Olivia's mysterious ancestors and is there any connection between the ruby stickpin left by her mother and the identical pin in a castle portrait? Why is the friendly crofter murdered, not to mention the silly housemaid? All is revealed on the dreadful night when Olivia claims her inheritance (dispatching her assailants with a well-aimed lance) while the castle goes up in flames and half the county lies murdered among the ruins. Lots of alarums and excursions but the romance is too fiat to match the scenery.