"Rendell’s novels always transcend the mere ‘crime’ novel."
The newest tenant of Lichfield House, Stuart Font has decided to throw a house-warming party and invited all the people in the building and some across the road. He has also grudgingly invited his girlfriend, Claudia, but not her cuckolded husband. The night will be one that all the local residents will remember for a very long time – and for all the wrong reasons.
After the disastrous party, the self-obsessed Stuart picks up his shattered ego and begins a fantasy with the young Asian woman across the road who speaks little to no English and is chaperoned by someone who Stuart believes is her 'wicked Uncle'. As his vanity begins to make Stuart believe that he can begin life with this girl he knows next to nothing about, events take a serious and deadly twist. It is only then that the true nature of 'Tigerlily' and her co-habitants are realised.