Quitting her husband's house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season, with everyone wishing to know what has caused the rift between the couple. Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybirds, indicating, as only ladybirds can, the fact that all of London's vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead.
While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires - and they're armed with pesto.
New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger writes to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriate Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She survived her early years by reading most of her local library and memorising Greek battles. Eventually, she escaped small town life and inadvertently acquired several degrees in Higher Learning. In pursuit of further finishing, Ms Carriger travelled the historic cities of Europe, subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag. She now resides in the Colonies, surrounded by fantastic shoes, where she insists on tea imported from London.