Laird Keir McQuade is a newcomer to his title, and has much work before him to restore the McQuade honor. Finding a wife is an excellent start. He's duty-bound to go to court and swear homage to his king anyway, a perfect opportunity - were not court women trussed in stupid fashions and corrupted with false mannerisms. Of course, not every lady hides behind a powdered face...
Brodick McJames is an earl in name only. To secure his clan's future he needs an English wife. Mary Stanford, daughter of the Earl of Warwickshire, will suit perfectly. He's never met her, but what matter? She'll grace his bed eventually, and once she bears his child he need see her no more.Anne Copper looks just like her noble half-sister, but she was born illegitimate, and can never forget it. The best she can hope for is to stay a serving girl in her own father's house.
One secret can bury an entire family forever... Desmond is a man ill equipped for today's world. He is reclusive and unsocial, traits exacerbated by his domineering mother. As a result, Desmond is at his happiest when he's absolutely alone. During a birdwatching outing along the Devon coast, Desmond wanders into a cave. Inside, he finds something that appalls and terrifies him: a skeleton dressed in a nun's wimple.
Sir Daniel Denton was NOT a nice man, and when his body is found in his study at Bywater Grange, shot through the back with his own pistol, no one sheds many tears. Scotland Yard Inspector Pinkey is sent to the country estate to investigate the crime, and quickly focuses his efforts on three suspects: the dead man's widow, Lady Adelaide Denton; his half-brother, Gerard Denton; and his secretary, Redwin, who'd recently been dismissed for "cooking" the accounts.