Charles Lenox is at the pinnacle of his political career and is a delighted new father. His days of regularly investigating the crimes of Victorian London now some years behind him, he plans a trip to his uncle's estate in the expectation of a few calm weeks. When he arrives in the quiet village of Plumley, however, what greets him is a series of strange vandalisms upon the local shops. Only when a far more serious crime is committed does he begin to understand the great stakes of those events, and the complex and sinister mind that is wreaking fear and suspicion in Plumley. Now, with his protege at his side, the race is on for Lenox to find the culprit before he strikes again.