Behind the curtained windows of Victorian Boston is a world of passion, scandal ... and murder.
In life, he was the most despised man in Boston, publisher of the town's scurrilous gossip sheet -- and buyer and seller of people's most scandalous indiscretions. Now Colonel William d'Arcy Mann lies on the floor of his fashionable hotel suite, the victim of a single gunshot wound to the heart.
Addington Ames came to recover a packet of love letters written by his young cousin, Val, that had fallen into the blackmailing colonel's possession. But when he discovers Mann's corpse instead, Ames suddenly finds himself at the center of a murder inquiry, his name splashed across the town newspapers.
With Val facing public disgrace -- on the eve of marriage to an impeccable member of Brahmin society -- Ames's only hope is to find the damning missives, which he believes vanished with the killer. With the help of his sister, Caroline, and their boarder, Dr. John MacKenzie, he moves through Boston's most prominent social circles in search of a well-concealed murderer whose final act of violence will leave no life -- highborn or low -- untouched...
From the Paperback edition.