The Anstruther Lass is a historical romance set in the Dundee Jute Mills in 1865. Lana, a young widow from Anstruther, works at a mill and falls in love with a Dutch sailor Stefan, the son of a rich jute trader and shipping magnate.
Problems arise when the mill manager, Campbell, also falls in love with Lana and pays local Anstruther smugglers to kill his rival. Meanwhile, a serial killer is targeting sailors in Dundee. The smugglers rescue Stefan from this killer and decide not to assassinate him, but sell him to the British Navy.
Her sister hides a pregnant Lana until the birth of Lanas baby, and another sister pretends the baby is hers to ensure the babys acceptance in society.
When the baby is weaned, Lana returns to work, and Campbell offers to provide for her if she will become his mistress. When Lana rejects his offer, Campbell angrily shouts that it is useless to wait for Stefan as he paid the smugglers to kill him. Lana, incredulous, confronts the smugglers.
Ton, Stefans father, arrives in Anstruther to find his son and meets Lana, only to be told of his disappearance.
Where is Stefan? Is he alive or dead? Will Lana ever see him again?