Employed as chef for the forthcoming wedding of Arthur, Lord Montfoy and an American heiress, Auguste Didier finds himself thoroughly enjoying the peace and tranquillity of Farthing Court estate in Kent, with its impeccably run kitchens and rolling pastoral landscape. Even King Edward VII's unpublicised attendance seems troublefree, coinciding as it does with Frimhurst village's elaborate — though not altogether traditional — preparations for May Day.But behind the smiling pageantry lurks a much more sinister force. For several people are not who they appear - Arthur is no longer the true Lord Montfoy, having sold his birthright years earlier; the villagers have ulterior motives for dressing up as creatures of folklore; and, most disturbing of all, the real Lord Montfoy — who has been living abroad under the name Thomas Entwhistle — turns out to be none other than Pyotr Gregorin, a prominent member of the Tsar's secret service and now Didier's uncle by marriage. A man who has sworn many times to murder him ...