A beautiful woman. An unrequited love. An excuse for murder. Araminta Jewell is one of the beauties of her day. Even her marriage to the staid and ugly Sir Martin Culthorpe has not discouraged her hordes of admirers. It is during her first sitting for a portrait painted by the fashionable French artist Jean-Paul Villemot that the architect Christopher Redmayne meets the lovely Lady Culthorpe, although he has heard much about her through his brother Henry, one of her most ardent pursuers. Before the portrait can be finished and revealed, however, Sir Martin is murdered. Joining fores with his good friend, the puritan constable Jonathan Bale, Christopher embarks on a quest to discover the killer's identity. In his latest Restoration mystery, Edward Marston, the master of historical detail, reveals the dark and often debauched depths of seventeenth-century London.