""This is such a clever book.""
Persis Wadia, the first female detective in the Bombay police service, is still struggling to achieve recognition in the city despite her previous success in solving a high-profile murder.
She is called to The Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland to investigate the disappearance of a highly valuable early edition of Dante's Divine Comedy. The chief suspect for the theft, John Healy, has also disappeared. Although in the right place and at the right time, he is such a highly respected scholar that the curator of the library finds it difficult to believe. However, Healy has left a clue which sets Persis off on a trail combining her intelligence, literary knowledge and her experience of her father's bookshop. A few well-placed contacts also help unravel the mystery.
With her absolute determination to find the truth Persis uncovers another plot to steal the manuscript. This relates to a well-hidden part of Healy's past and finally explains the many twists and knotty problems that Persis has to face.
Throughout the investigation Persis meets the unrelenting opposition of men to her carrying out her work. Often underestimated, she can put this attitude to good use but the final snub to her achievements unleashes her fury.