Fourth in Fidelis Morgan's hugely entertaining series featuring the irrepressible Countess Ashby de la Zouche and her stupendously bosomed former maid, Alpiew.
Unlikely as it may seem, the Countess finds herself with cash to spare. Unlikelier still, she decides to do the sensible thing and invest it, caught up in London society's new craze for stocks and shares. Overnight, fortunes are being made, wealth amassed from nothing in a frenzy of speculation. And with these new-found riches anything can be bought: commodities, monkeys . . . even people.
But as the Countess and Alpiew learn to their cost, investments can go down as well as up - helped along by a little embezzlement from those bastions of respectability, bankers and brokers. Soon banking leads to begging, burglary, and strange bedfellows - including an aspiring novelist with a grievance and a hirsute dwarf of astounding agility.