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Career diplomat Alec Halsey has been elevated to a marquessate he doesn't want and Polite Society believes he doesn't deserve; his lover has decided she won't marry him after all and the suspicion he murdered his brother still lingers in London drawing rooms. So returning to London after seven months' seclusion may have been a mistake.
Alec's foreboding deepens when a nobody vicar drops dead at a party-political dinner; he witnesses the very public humiliation of an up and coming portrait painter, and his rabble-rousing uncle Plantagenet is bashed and left for dead in a laneway. When the vicar's true identity is revealed, Alec suspects the man was poisoned. But who would want a seemingly harmless man of God murdered, and why?
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