No one has seen Allegra Trent since she got married. Her husband swept her off her feet and out of London, to a faraway town called Bleake. She has stopped writing letters, and her family has begun to worry. Allegra’s husband is a strange man, consumed with the dream of owning a ramshackle medieval estate, and he intends to use his new wife’s money to do it. Why he wants to live there no one knows, but Josepha Bowden does not want his castle to become her goddaughter’s prison. She asks the help of Maud Silver, the former governess who now makes a living using her reason to unravel the intricacies of murder. There has been no killing in Bleake, but if Miss Silver doesn’t intervene quickly, there could be one soon.