Rose McQuinn, daughter of famed Inspector Faro, has recently returned home to Edinburgh from the American West after the death of her baby son and disappearance and possible death of her husband. Her tragedies are somewhat lessened when she agrees to investigate the odd behavior of the husband of her childhood friend. Her American sojourn and understanding of the Sioux Indians assist her investigation when a murder occurs in a circus, and the Indians featured in the Wild West Show are accused of the deed.
Against local customs and to the alarm of her friends, Rose chooses to live by herself in an isolated home at the foot of Arthurs Seat and, horror of horrors, purchase a bicycle as her means of transportation. Alanna Knight provides evocative descriptions of the Arthurs Seat area, and works an interesting relationship between humans and local animals into the plot. She also covers late 19th century concerns about the influenza epidemics, nervousness about the suffragettes, Rosas first train ride across the new Forth Railway Bridge, and the attendance of Queen Victoria at the circus on her way to Balmoral.
This is the first of the five Rose McQuinn mysteries.