Having long abandoned any hope of making a match, 26-year-old Beatrice Hyde Clare finds herself a little overwhelmed by her engagement to the Duke of Kesgrave. Cloying society matrons clamor for her attention while her aunt reels off an endless list of servants she will have to oversee. Even the most intrepid female would quake at the prospect of managing eight footmen!
Fortunately, Bea knows the perfect distraction - an intriguing mystery - and pays a call on the Countess of Abercrombie, who had promised her that very thing only the evening before.
But her ladyship is reluctant to discuss the details with a newly minted duchess-to-be, and it dawns on Bea that the investigation cuts closer to home than she could have ever imagined because this time the murder victims are her own mother and father, who had died 20 years before in a seemingly straightforward boating accident.
Alas, nothing is straightforward, and as Bea digs into her past, she discovers with growing horror that she has no more idea how to be a daughter than she does a duchess.