After facing near death in the previous novel, Sebastian has reconciled with his father. The Earl of Hendon is not excited when his son involves himself in yet another murder case but since it was Hendon’s own sister that asked for Sebastian’s help, he can’t say anything about it. Someone has murdered the Bishop of London, and the circumstances are odd to say the least. He was found in a formerly sealed up crypt that workers had accidentally opened, collapsed over a body. Obviously, there would be quite a few of these in any crypt, but this body wasn’t in the traditional sense: the man appears to have been murdered in the crypt before it was sealed up.
While Sebastian’s investigation shows that the Bishop was generally good man, he also appears to have quarreled with quite a few people in the days before his death. Not only that, but given the bishop’s political leanings and abolitionist stance, he was also a political enemy/nuisance to the powerful Lord Jarvis.
Hero and the bishop were actually good friends, and he was helping her with a small problem (otherwise known as consequences from the previous novel) when he was murdered, leaving her in a bit of bind. Hero wants his murder solved, but she also worries that Sebastian may find out about her dilemma while on the case as she runs a parallel investigation.
The question of course is whether the 30 year old body has anything to do with the current murder or if it was a coincidence. Did the Bishop die because of his political leanings, something within his personal life or due to a private grudge? Or is someone trying to hide a 30 year old secret?
This investigation leads to quite a few personal discoveries for Sebastian as well, with the murder plot having some parallels to Sebastian’s own life, and present circumstances. I like how Harris ties everything together here, and wonder if she always meant the main plot to go in this direction or if it naturally developed this way. I have been waiting for certain parts of the story to come together, and this mystery and Sebastian’s personal life converge in a well executed manner.