Jane Eyre meets The Secret Garden in this gothic novel of romantic suspense set in 1890s Yorkshire.
Solicitor Vaughan Springthorpe knows perfectly well that Sir Peter Spencer's offer of employment seems too good to be true: he hires her sight unseen and offers a suspiciously large salary to prepare the sale of his crumbling Yorkshire estate. But few people in late-Victorian England will entrust their legal affairs to a young woman, and Vaughan is desperate to prove herself. Despite her mother's pleas to stay in London and the odd warnings from locals near the manor, Vaughan forges ahead to begin her work at Morton Abbey.
But someone at the manor is determined to drive Vaughan away. An intruder tries to enter her bedroom at night, gunshots go off outside her window, and an eerie crying echoes from the uninhabited second floor. Even Netherton, the nearest village, seems strange: the picturesque houses and perfect-looking families are haunted by dark secrets connected to Morton Abbey itself.
To complete her work and solve the mystery at the heart of Morton, Vaughan needs the help of Joe Dixon, the handsome gardener, and Nicholas Spencer, her employer's irascible invalid brother. But with her questions diverted, her progress thwarted, and her sleep disrupted by the crying, Vaughan doesn't know if she will escape Morton Abbey with her sanity intact or be cursed by the secrets within.