Lady Rose Summer (Hasty Death, 2004, etc.) is saved from her Edwardian parents’ plan to ship her off to the Indian marriage mart by a faux engagement and a murder.
Lady Rose and her companion Daisy are attending still another boring ball without Rose’s pseudo-fiancé, dashing detective Harry Cathcart, when they meet Dolly Tremaine, daughter of a country rector, very much out of her depth in society. Their budding friendship is cut short when Lady Rose discovers Dolly, arrayed as the Lady of Shalott, dead in a Hyde Park rowboat. As Harry, his man Becket and Detective Supt. Kerridge attempt to track down her killer, Lady Rose is sent to the safety of a remote Yorkshire village, where she begins to develop a social conscience as she spends time among the lower classes. The apparent refuge becomes just one of the settings for a comedy of errors as Lady Rose and Daisy put themselves in harm’s way by sneaking off to solve the murder on their own. Could the murderer be a supercilious society fop like Berrow and Banks, Dolly’s village blacksmith boyfriend, or a member of her seemingly unconcerned family? More important: Is it true love for Harry and Lady Rose and wedding bells for Daisy and Becket?
A lighthearted romantic romp through Edwardian snobbery, with hints of the cataclysmic changes in store for high society substituting for any serious mystery.