Bella Wallis – respectable society widow with a secret identity as a writer of sensationalist novels – is now happily engaged to the love of her life, Philip Westland. But Westland’s shadowy job, working for the British government, continually takes him abroad and away from the charismatic, impatient Bella. And then there is the matter of Westland’s sister’s incarceration in a French nunnery, a mystery about which he refuses to say a word.
Bella is convinced that their future together can only be resolved by getting to the bottom of his secret. The resulting quest will take her from the Oval, and a vicious curse laid on champion batsman W.G Grace, to the desolate moors of Yorkshire, on the trail of some decidedly dangerous women and a surprisingly chatty hermit.