When the mysterious Sarah Tanner opens her Dining and Coffee Rooms upon the corner of Leather Lane and Liquorpond Street, her arrival amongst the poor market-traders is a nine-days' wonder. Few doubt that she has a 'past'; but no-one can possibly predict how it will return to haunt her. When an old friend is brutally murdered by the unlikeliest of assailants, Sarah Tanner is the only witness. Unable to turn to the police, she reluctantly finds herself drawn back into the dark underworld of the Victorian metropolis. Assisted by unlikely friends, dogged by the criminal machinations of 'the greatest gamester, felon, villain, swindler, and scoundrel in London', she must unravel a web of treachery and deceit, that takes her from the gaming hells of Regent Street to the suburban heights of Upper Holloway; from the slums of St. Giles to the fast-flowing waters of the Thames. Relying on her wits, trading on her past, Sarah Tanner risks gambling her own life upon a desparate quest for justice and vengeance.