Lyme Regis 27th December 1816. Captain Charles Darley is on his way to visit gentleman detective Edmund Hide and his sister Ameila when he is brutally murdered. Edmund feels he must investigate and find the killer. His inquiries take him to near by Weybourne Manor the home of the Marchant family. Here he meets Charles' cousin Major Freddy Burchell and Mrs Marchant's God daughter Emily Palmer. The lady becomes the object of his desire but he must control his passion if he is to find the murderer. He unearths a web of deceit and lies. But will he find the killer in time and win the heart of Miss Palmer or will the murderer get to him first?