In this installment of the beloved Isabel Dalhousie series, Isabel is called upon to navigate complex social situations both at home and in her community. A new baby brings an abundance of joy to Isabel and her husband, Jamie—but almost-four-year-old Charlie refuses to acknowledge Magnus, and Isabel struggles to impress upon her older son the patience and understanding that have guided her throughout her own life. These are the very qualities that bring Bea Shandon, an old acquaintance, to seek Isabel's help. Something of a matchmaker, Bea has introduced a wealthy female friend to a cosmetic surgeon, but soon uncovers information leading her to doubt his motives. Isabel agrees to find out more, but as her enquiries take an unexpected turn, she starts to wonder whom exactly she should be investigating. As ever, Isabel's intelligence, wit, and empathy come to her aid as she grapples with issues like friendship and its duties, the obligation of truthfulness, and the importance of perspective.