The seventh Auguste Didier mystery.
Late in 1901, Auguste Didier and his Russian bride Princess Tatiana are visiting the Yorkshire seat of the Tabor family for a banquet the King has promised to attend. Determined that tobacco will not sully her priceless tapestries, Lady Priscilla Tabor dispatches gentlemen who wish to smoke to a gloomy Gothic folly which has been allotted for this unseemly purpose. Even His Majesty the King is no exception to the intransigent Lady Tabor's rules.
Unfortunately for her ladyship, Tatiana is curious both about the smokehouse and about the filthy habit indulged within its walls. In the middle of the night, Auguste finds himself unceremoniously hauled from his bed by his wife to inspect the body she has just discovered there.
Once again, Didier is forced, reluctantly, to play detective - there are many secrets to be revealed and questions asked. Is this a case of suicide or murder? And, even more important, who is the corpse?