There is a new broom at Scotland Yard: Nimrod Frost. His first “little job” for Lestrade is to investigate the reported appearance of a lion in Cornwall. This is hardly a task for an Inspector. Yet even as Lestrade questions a witness, a man is reported dead - horrifically mauled.
Having solved that case to his own satisfaction, Lestrade returns to London and to more suspicious deaths - all old men who should have died quietly in their sleep. Is there a connection? Lestrade's superiors, especially Nimrod Frost, discount his speculations, and he finds himself suspended from duty. But that is a mere technicality. He moves from workhouse to royal palace, from back stage at the Lyceum to regimental dinner in his search for enlightenment.