Young Victorian widow, Charlotte Richmond, has lately found herself tripping over the occasional corpse, but surely the festive season, beginning with a christening party, can't present the same hazard? Oh yes it can...There are some strange incidents and a death, apparently from natural causes, that leaves Charlotte puzzled and anxious over questions that seem to have no answers. Over Christmas, however, she does manage to learn a surprising amount about medieval gardening, some unusual and unpleasant ailments, London property values, and how to conduct a rat-hunt. As if that isn't enough, Charlotte encounters someone who may know far too much about her unorthodox upbringing in Australia, and Florence Nightingale keeps making an offer that she insists Charlotte can't refuse. To cap it all, Boxing Day finds the resourceful Charlotte in a garden dedicated to a long-dead queen, fighting for her life and armed only with what is possibly the least likely weapon ever.