Miss Sarah Tolerance is an Agent of Inquiry, a private investigator of sorts - the sole one of her kind in 1810 London. Her aim was to trace lost trinkets, send wastrel husbands back to their wives, and provide protection to persons with more money than sense-but she is continually drawn into the plots of others. Her newest case poses a puzzle unlike any she has faced before: who killed the Chevalier d'Aubigny? The French emigre was beaten to death in his own bed and found by his retainers the next morning, all the doors and windows sealed tight. It's a classic locked-room mystery, but Miss Tolerance knows she can find the key. As Miss Tolerance examines the situation, she realizes things are far more complicated than she originally suspected, for the Chevalier had far more enemies than he had friends. Her search for his killer takes her from the lowest brothels of the London underworld, where men go to indulge their more aggressive desires, to the Royal Family and a Duke who must hide his perversions or risk the Throne.