1952, Brighton and London. When 17 year old debutante Rose Bellamy Gore goes missing in a seedy Soho jazz club the prime suspect is black saxophone player, Lindon Claremont, the last person to be seen talking to her. Under suspicion, Lindon heads straight for Brighton and his childhood friend, Vesta Churchill who works with ex-Secret Service office girl Mirabelle Bevan, now in charge of the McGuigan and McGuigan Debt Collection Agency. When Lindon is taken into custody the two women dive into London's underworld of smoky night clubs, smart cars and lethal cocktails to establish the truth.
1951, Brighton. With the excitement of the war over and the Nazis brought to justice, Mirabelle Bevan, ex-Secret Service, moves to the seaside to put the past behind her. She takes a job as a secretary at a debt collection agency run by Big Ben McGuigan, but when confronted by the case of Romana Laszlo, a pregnant Hungarian refugee, Mirabelle discovers that her specialist knowledge is vital. With enthusiastic assistance from the pretty insurance clerk down the corridor
Celebrated writer and historian Maria Graham must make the treacherous voyage from Brazil to London to deliver her latest book to her publisher. Having come to terms with the loss of her beloved husband, Maria has renewed hope for the future and is determined to live her life as she pleases, free from the smothering constraints of Georgian society. It's a journey fraught with danger, and as civil war rages around her, the only ship prepared to take Maria belongs to roguish smuggler Captain James Henderson.
It's 1955. When Mirabelle Bevan is rescued from a fire at her home on the Brighton seafront, she's lucky to escape unharmed - but the blaze takes the life of her neighbour, Dougie Beaumont, a dashing and successful racing driver living in the flat above. It soon becomes clear that this was arson, raising questions about the young man's death that Mirabelle can't resist investigating further.