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Prince Dmitry Rostov, Anglophile lover of English poetry, especially Shakespeare, has a bicycling accident. It occurs beside Wordsworth's "sylvan Wye". More sinister and worrying are a ghostly white figure, a strange black boat, a blood-red rose cast on the water, a train whistle and a gunshot, all of which make him witness to a "gap in nature" that will ultimately involve him in a unique quest for the truth. Finding himself less seriously injured than he thought, he receives medical care and a night's rest at the home of the beautiful daughter of Lord Irmingham, a devotee of the late-Victorian cult of Tolstoyanism. Discovering that the prince had once met Anna Karenina, Lord Irmingham insists on having him as an honoured guest at his large country house, Stadleigh Court, among other guests assembled for a soiree devoted to celebrating Tolstoy's ideas. But there is an important sub-text to the occasion, as the prince soon discovers. He is invited to confront the veiled, reclusive lady in the tower. Is she Anna Karenina? Is she now apparently alive and well and living at Stadleigh Court on the banks of the river Wye? Entrusted with the task of identifying her, the prince finds himself drawn ever more deeply into a sympathetic understanding of her situation, her concern for her son, newly arrived from Russia but suddenly struck down, her joys and fears, above all her talk of threats and, finally, her claim to have "enemies". The soiree when it occurs proves to be fatally tragic. Her death overnight forces the prince to investigate. By dint of clever detective work and a certain amount of good luck he gradually uncovers the specifically Russian reasons for her killing. An Epilogue to what is an ingenious and entertaining crime novel reveals how much more the prince has to tell his wife when she returns from visiting her mother in Russia.