It's 1763. Career diplomat Alec Halsey returns to London and the shocking news his estranged elder brother, the Earl of Delvin, has not only killed his friend in a duel but become engaged to the woman he had hoped to marry. When Alec reluctantly attends a weekend house party to celebrate his brother's engagement he gets more than he bargained for when a lady's maid is murdered, the bride-to-be is attacked, and a guest is shot dead.
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Career diplomat Alec Halsey has been elevated to a marquessate he doesn't want. His lover has decided she won't marry him after all. What's more, the suspicion that he murdered his brother still lingers in London drawing rooms. So returning to London after seven months' seclusion may have been a mistake.
Winter 1763. Alec, Lord Halsey, is sent on a diplomatic mission to Midanich, imperial outpost of the Holy Roman Empire, to bargain for the freedom of imprisoned friends. Midanich is a place of great danger and dark secrets - a country at civil war, ruled by a family with madness in its veins. For Alec it is a place of unspeakable memories from which he barely escaped and vowed never to return. But return he must, if he is to save the lives of Emily St. Neots and Sir Cosmo Mahon.