Everybody loves Aunt Civility’s etiquette books, but no one has ever met the author. That’s because Aunt Civility is really the short-tempered Edward Harlow, a secret shared only by his publisher and his younger brother, Nicholas. As far as the public knows, Aunt Civility is a recluse, and so Edward makes select appearances as her official representative, with Nicholas along as his secretary.
Edward’s latest appearance is at the Victorian Preservation Society’s annual convention, held at the isolated Inglenook Resort. The guests are snowed in before the society members arrive, and when dead body turns up in the room next door, Edward is in danger of losing his manners. Will an association with murder—the ultimate unpleasantness—sully Aunt Civility’s reputation? Like a good secretary, Nicholas will do whatever it takes to keep the boss happy, but as the body count rises, so does this secretary’s chances of becoming the next victim.