A dazzling crime novel from a practised hand. London, 1867. One of Algernon Swinburne's old school chums is stabbed to death, and Algernon is determined to bring the murderer to justice. During his investigation, Algernon becomes involved with both the Society for the Suppression of Vice and a member of the royal family - an unhappy mixture. He also exposes a record of blackmail, murder and sin in high places.