In the wake of a series of unfortunate experiences house-sitting in the Cotswolds, Thea Osborne, accompanied by her spaniel Hepzibah, is perhaps over-optimistic about the English summertime and the possibilities of her latest assignment - house-sitting for transatlantic reptile breeder Harriet Young. However the region's bucolic charms prove to be more than deceptive, as Thea is thrust once more into the heart of a Cotswold mystery. Despite the ease with which Thea's new assignment in the secluded village of Cranham begins, she soon finds a dark side to the characters she encounters. From the elderly Donny Davis to the enigmatic figure of Edwina, Thea begins to realise that Harriet Young's beloved geckoes are not the only cold-blooded creatures at large in Cranham. Family intrigue, murder and suicide combine to give Thea a decidedly challenging summer in the Heart of England ...