It's 1699 and those intrepid heroines the Countess Ashby de la Zouche and her maidservant Alpiew are once more scavenging for scandal for that scurrilous rag, the London Trumpet. But with the bailiffs in hot pursuit they are reduced to seeking refuge at a concert hall. No sonner have they settled down for an evening of tedium than one of the players staggers on to the stage, her hands dripping with blond - a doyenne has been decapitated under their very noces. The unlikely sleuths find themselves with an abundance of suspects : players, ruffians in pink ribbons, a Punch and Judy man - not to mention a painter with a silver proboscis. Their pursuit of the culprit takes them from the Tower of London to Bedlam, with a brief detour via the wilds of Wapping. With a little help from Pepys and a lot of laughs and mayhem along the way they uncover a web of corruption that extends to the highest echelons of society.