The time is 1892, the height of the London ""season,"" and Sergeant Bragg and Constable James Morton are deep in an investigation that soon leads directly to the inner sanctum of the high-living Prince of Wales. It started with the death of St. Paul Cathedral's Dean Hadley, officially termed an accident. Discreet probing indicates, however, that the Dean was only the first victim of a blackmailer whose targets are coming ever closer to the Court. In the meantime, Morton's upper-class accent and familiarity with the aristocracy (Deathwatch, etc.) are assets in uncovering a well-hidden world of homosexual haunts and extramarital affairs--but when society-belle Arabella Godfrey brings her blackmail letter to him and Bragg, their carefully planned intervention has disastrous results. Neither are they too successful in trying to extricate the Prince of Wales from the blackmailer's clutches. Not until Morton's true love, reporter Catherine Marsden, is threatened does the villain get his comeuppance--one that subverts justice in the name of discretion. Though a bit overlong and slowed at times by a tendency to ramble, this is still well-done, absorbing fare--a solid blend of unlabored writing, suspense, lively history, romance, and police procedural.