Georgie Sinclair’s husband has walked out; her sixteen-year-old son is busy surfing born-again websites; and all those overdue articles for Adhesives in the Modern World are getting her down. So when Georgie spots Mrs Shapiro, an eccentric old Jewish émigré neighbour with an eye for a bargain, rummaging through her skip in the middle of the night, it’s just the distraction she needs. When Mrs Shapiro is admitted to hospital, Georgie discovers, much to her surprise, that she is named next of kin. But sorting out Mrs Shapiro’s semi-derelict mansion in Highbury is no easy job. From stinky cats with their own agendas to slimy estate agents trying to trick Mrs Shapiro into selling her rickety old house, Georgie must step in to help her new friend. But as she becomes more involved, she finds herself unravelling a mystery which takes her from Highbury to wartime Europe to the Middle East, and learning a bit about DIY along the way.