I have to admit, I nearly abandoned this book. The first part was awash in overwrought similes (e.g., "chairs toppled like French aristocrats"), and I was very much afraid that it would continue in a similar vein.
Luckily, it did not.
This is the story of Lady Ashe, whose estranged husband is found dead in his rented rooms ... an apparent suicide. Bow Street Runner Theo Bryght (who has a secret or two to keep himself) is investigating the death on behalf of the Crown.
We have lots of secrets, missing letters, various gentlemen vying for the hand of the lovely Lady Ashe (despite her profligate husband having lost both his fortune and hers in gambling hells), and a whole lot more.
It really is worth sticking with the book to get past the Bulwer-Lytton-esque beginning and get to the meat of the tale.