With her customary understated style and her keen ability to delve into the human psyche, Clare Curzon returns readers to Thames Valley and Superintendent Mike Yeadings. This time a case that at first glance looks to be open and shut proves more difficult and Yeadings will have to use his entire team to help solve the mystery.
Off to an early morning meeting in Scotland Yard, Superintendent Mike Yeadings boards a commuter train and prepares for the trip. The train, however, doesn't get too far before coming to a screeching halt: there is a body on the tracks. What at first looks like a suicide is soon revealed to be a vicious crime-the victim has been garroted and his hands mutilated. His pockets are also empty which makes them wonder if robbery was the motive or if the killer was trying to hide the identity of the victim to protect himself.
Yeadings soon discovers that the victim was a customs officer and that he had been investigating a possible counterfeit operation at Fraylings Court-a family estate that has recently started hosting theme holidays and offering many classes in order to pay off their mounting debt. Along with the guests requiring art lessons, dance classes, and a dog-training course, some shady characters have emerged and started their own nightly poker school. Among those regularly dealt a hand is Detective Sergeant Rosemary Zyczynski of the Thames Valley Police who is working undercover to solve the murder. Will she be able to reveal the killer and the counterfeit operation while maintaining a poker face?