Returning from holiday, Mrs. Jackson is beseeched by a former cook from a Hyde Castle, a nearby manor owned by the merchant millionaire Haldanes to take up her case. She was dismissed without references when a house guest at the manor died after eating her kedgeree and she was blamed for serving fish that had spoiled. She is positive the man was poisoned. Mrs. Jackson takes the story to Lady Montfort, who decides to investigate. Mrs. Jekyll, the prominent rose expert, happens to be visiting at the time so when Lady Montfort secures an invitation to a rose symposium by Mrs. Haldane, the three women go to spend a few days at Hyde Castle. As news from the continent heralds the beginning of World War I, Lady Montfort and Mrs. Jackson sort through the contentious group of rose-loving friends to determine if a murder by poisoning had actually occurred and if so, who did it. Fans of Downton Abbey and readers who enjoy authentic, rich historical detail will enjoy this look into Edwardian England on the brink of war.
This is the third mystery featuring Lady Montfort and Mrs. Jackson but it stands well on its own. Well worth reading if you like cozy mysteries and being immersed the the manners and mores of a different time.