'Inspector Stokes of Scotland Yard calls in aristocratic sleuth Barnaby Adair to assist in a most puzzling case...
'Penelope Adair, wife and partner of amateur sleuth Barnaby Adair, is so hugely pregnant she cannot even waddle. When Barnaby is summoned to assist Inspector Stokes of Scotland Yard in investigating the violent murder of a gentleman at a house party, Penelope, frustrated that she cannot participate, insists on a detailed report – and promptly arranges a private dinner party so that she and Griselda, Stokes’s wife, can be duly informed of their husbands’ discoveries.
'But what Barnaby and Stokes uncover only leads to more questions. The murdered gentleman had been thrown out of the house party days before, so why was he returning? And how and why did he come to have the fabulous Finsbury diamond necklace in his pocket, much to Lord Finsbury’s consternation. Most peculiarly, why had the murderer left the necklace, worth a stupendous fortune, on the body?
'The conundrums compound as our intrepid investigators attempt to make sense of this most baffling case. Meanwhile, the threat of scandal grows ever more tangible for all those attending the house party – and the stakes are highest for Lord Finsbury’s daughter and the gentleman who has spent the last decade in darkest Africa striving to resurrect his family fortune so he can aspire to her hand. Working parallel to Barnaby and Stokes, can our would-be lovers find a path through the maze of contradictory facts to expose the murderer, disperse the pall of scandal, and claim the love and the shared life they now crave?' (Publication summary)