The story follows the young Cordelia Gray who inherits Pryde's Detective Agency after her partner in the business commit suicide. She's not long after hired by a Sir Ronald Callender to investigate the suicide of his only son, Mark. Specifically, he wants to know why Mark killed himself and this sets off a whole chain of events that culminates in Cordelia uncover that the victim was in fact murdered and eventually who murdered him.
Generally, I liked the story because Cordelia had to struggle and work in her investigation, rather not instantly know everything like a stereotypical super-sleuth. I enjoy stories like that where the answers aren't all easy to find. The only thing I didn't like was the last part where P. D. James's other and more famous detective, Adam Dalgiesh shows up out of nowhere and lays everything that happened in the climax at Cordelia's feet. His appearance makes no sense whatsoever and has no bearing or consequence on the plot. It's almost like James wrote the ending then decided "YOLO" and threw Dalgiesh in for the hell of it.
My rating for this would have to be like 7.5/10.