Lestrade’s detectives at Scotland Yard have promised him that 1910 is going to be a peaceful year. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out that way. His daughter, Emma, brings him news of a tragic boating accident and he is soon up to his neck in a series of vicious murders, including that of a man hanged in a church belltower, of a cross-channel swimmer, and his old sparring partner, Dr Watson.
Anarchists threaten the peace of Europe and the whole of the Yard is looking for ‘Peter the Painter’. On top of all this, Lestrade is roped in to help with the coronation of George V, and Inspector Walter Dew needs help with the disappearance of a certain Belle Crippen.
While Lestrade has his hands full, Mr Frederick Seddon is letting out the top flat of his house to elderly spinsters and new bride Sarah Rose wanders forlornly around the National Gallery, waiting for George Joseph Smith.