A Victorian Murder Mystery.
The conservative clergy of the Church of England is under attack from the growing popularity of Darwinism. But is it really such a threat to Reverend Parmenter that he killed his assistant for believing in it? Superintendent Pitt is called to the Parmenter household in Brunswick Gardens to prevent a scandal. Parmenter was about to be made bishop, and his assistant was an uncommonly beautiful young woman.
What seems to be a tragically cut-and-dried case turns into a series of ugly revelations about the politics of the church, the dubious personal lives of its clerics, their ambitions thwarted, promises unfulfilled, passion frustrated. As the Parmenter family struggles under the pressures of private grief and public duty, Pitt encounters a figure from his own past who augurs trouble wherever he goes.