In tantalizingly alternating chapters, Jewish Etonian Paul Ackerley and Lady Lucy Seddon recall the tangled events that, back in 1956, led them and Lucy's sisters to murder and a media firestorm at the height of the Suez crisis. Lucy was one of the Verekers of Blatchford. In recalling the dreadful events, Paul traces the fortunes of his friendship with the Verekers and with charmed, brutish demigod Gerry Grantworth as Gerry sprouts a phantom double (a creation of army paperwork) and edges, despite his marriage to Nancy, into a secret liaison with call girl Sammy Whitstable, who attends a society dinner dressed as a man. Lucy, married to a high-level diplomat, confesses to a series of lovers including Gerry, Paul, and scheming Michael Allweg. And both Paul and Lucy insist that the other must know the truth about Gerry's spectacular demise in Blatchford's Yellow Room. Only a writer of Dickinson's (Play Dead, 1992) extravagant gifts could toss together ``two titles, a government minister, a kinky tart, the minister's wife who'd been a society beauty but slept around with mysterious businessmen...East End criminals, racketeering landlords, a dead body, and cricket'' with echoes of The Good Soldier and Brideshead Revisited and end up with as delectable a ragout as ever you've tasted.