When a claimant to the title of Lord Darlymple comes to an unexpected sticky end, the cry goes up: 'Was it murder?'
The Honourable Daisy Dalrymple is recruited by her cousin Edgar - the current Lord Dalrymple - to help him find the next heir to the viscountcy. With the involvement of the family lawyer, they come up with four claimants who, along with Daisy, are invited to Fairacres, the family estate, to celebrate Edgar's fiftieth birthday.
And they're a mixed bunch. A hotelier from Scarborough, a diamond merchant from South Africa, a mixed-race boy from Trinidad and a sailor from Jamaica. But then the sailor goes missing... and so begins a series of inexplicable and troubling accidents, resulting in the death of one of the would-be heirs. Daisy and her husband, DCI Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, are left wondering who might be behind all of this and, more importantly... who's next?