When policemen arrive at the Earl of Sedgwick's estate to enquire after a missing Italian gentleman, the Earl's daughter-in-law, Eugenie, realises that buried secrets may not remain concealed much longer. Secrets that have bound her to her dangerously unstable sister-in-law - the Honourable Isabelle Delmayne - ever since a trip abroad years before. Then, as the newly graduated daughter of a fashionable dressmaker, Eugenie had thrilled at the chance to accompany the young and beautiful, recently widowed Isabelle through Europe and Africa. But once embarked, the gloss of expectation had rapidly been tarnished by the bitter reality of Isabelle's capricious temper and her taste for subterfuge and unsuitable men. Torn between the demands of duty and station, and an increasing desire to be free of Isabelle, Eugenie had unexpectedly fallen secretly and deeply in love. Isabelle however, had been keeping a secret of her own - one that she intended Eugenie to keep too. Now, with the Italian's body dredged up from a river on the Earl's estate, Eugenie finds the only way to clear her name is to break from Isabelle's tyranny and the duplicity of the past.
Clare Curzon has written romances under the name Rhona Petrie, and historical fiction under the name Marie Buchanan. Her other contemporary Clare Curzon crime novels feature Mike Yeadings and his Thames Valley team. She lives in Gerrards Cross.