Sir Peregrine Lloyd, the Queen’s private secretary, is discovered with a dagger in his stomach in the Wolsey Rooms of Hampton Court Palace.
Before he dies he mutters, “More is the pity. The Mirror of Naples: Preserve it,” to Sir Cedric Mallory, the curator of Hampton Court, who is on his early morning rounds before opening time.
Detective Chief Inspector, Mick Chandra, and his partner, Detective Elizabeth Chang, are assigned to the case. It’s a matter of “be careful what you wish for.” The Mirror has a bad – some might even say evil – reputation.
This story takes Mick through his most convoluted case. Just when he and Elizabeth think they have figured it out, yet a new development takes them in an entirely different direction, complete with Ukrainian hit men, shady Russians, British toffs, and the ostensibly respectable staff of Buckingham Place and Windsor Castle.
The love of Mick’s life –- concert pianist Jessica Beaumont – is a major part of this story, as are Nate Wyatt, Elizabeth’s husband; Jamie Geller, Mick’s best friend and frequent undercover agent; and even little Sarabeth, Mick and Jess’ infant daughter.
And what roles do these many suspects play: Lady Olivia Kent. Lloyd’s aristocratic lover; Randy Barnes, curator of ancient weaponry at Hampton Court and also one of Sir Peregrine’s lovers; Peregrine’s former wife and his daughter, Jenny; and an assortment of shady Ukrainian and Russian contacts. Lastly, what does the reputable jeweler, Mr. Hamm, know about the Mirror of Naples that he is not telling?
Be prepared to be surprised.