Selling rare books has its moments, but few are anything close to thrilling - except when Dido Hoare's scoundrel of an ex-husband suddenly reappears and puts a pulse of excitement in the air. But events go from interesting to intense when someone ends up murdered and the culprit seems to think Dido has something worth killing for, too. With the help of her father, Barnabas, a retired academic with a penchant for mysteries, Dido may be able to divert the killer long enough to figure out who wants her dead and why.
Antiquarian bookshop owner Dido Hoare has a lot on her mind these days. In her second appearance, Dido is trying to run her store, juggling single motherhood with her infant son Ben, worrying about her aging father, Barnabas, and her on-again, off-again relationship with a married police officer. The last thing she needs is to find Tom Ashe, a homeless man with whom she has struck up an odd friendship, apparently deathly ill on her doorstop.
When Timothy Curwen’s check bounces, Dido Hoare is amazed. Curwen had been a good customer, spending freely at her antiquarian bookshop. The morning paper says that Curwen committed suicide, but the police soon suspect murder. When Dido sets out either to retrieve the book or to obtain payment of it, her quest leads her down a twisted trail of cover-up and betrayal surrounding Tim’s death.
When Dido Hoare, antiquarian bookseller and single mother, receives a frantic call for help in the middle of the night, she rushes to her friend (and nanny's) side. Dido has no idea that she is about to enter a world where no one is what they appear to be and there is danger all around. Dido arrives at Phyllis's apartment building to find that the lights in the hallway have all been shattered and that the apartment has clearly been burglarized.
To escape from bad memories and nightmares in London, antiquarian book dealer Dido Hoare takes time off to visit a childhood friend, Lizzy Waring. Lizzy lives in the picturesque village of Somerset with her husband and his family. The Warings own Monksdanes, an idyllic Georgian mansion; it appears the perfect place for an over-active London native to rest and recuperate. At first Dido is enchanted by the surroundings. But it's not long before she realizes, to her dismay, that the postcard beauty is just a faade - there's a much darker reality below the surface.
Trying to build her fledgling shop and keep her young son and cat fed, Dido Hoare, London's most intrepid antiquarian bookseller, needs some good luck. Her break comes when the aged and daunting Clare Templeton Forbes, the ex-lover of a celebrated American modernist poet, offers Dido her prized personal library - a bookseller's dream come true.