The year is 1803-04 and Bonaparte is eyeing England when Eleanor Locke, an orphaned 21-year-old en route from Mexico to England, begins her story. Her grandfather has left a wily will: she must marry a ""man of property""--or else. So Eleanor weds nasty Sir Javis De Courcey, lord of Mallory Court (built on the Dover-side cliffs). At the Court, there are the usual sullen servants, some fey elderly relatives, the delicate sister of Javis' wife No. 1 (rumored pushed off the cliffs by Javis), an illegitimate child (whose?), a French couturier, and a kind, young doctor who's forever popping up on sea or land. All these are tossed in with stone towers and battlements shrouded in fog, secret staircases, wild rides on a wild horse only Eleanor has been able to tame, mysterious nightly harp music, and the dull thud of cannons booming on the French coast. Who is spying for Napoleon? Who is trying to murder whom? Along the way the doctor sheds his wings and Javis his horns, but the mystery is quite rightly not resolved until the end. Solid, as before, from the author of The House is Dark (1976).