In Marion Chesney's fourth Edwardian romp featuring Lady Rose Summers, Rose has failed as a debutante (e.g., she didn't snag a husband) so her parents threaten to send her to India. To prevent this, she convinces them she's engaged to Captain Harry Cathcart and they allow her to work as a secretary in his PI office. But Rose gets upset when Harry spends time with Dolores, a French courtesan he says is a client. Rose goes to Dolores's house to tell her what's what and finds her dead.
What follows is a series of adventures in which impetuous Rose and her Cockney companion, Daisy, run away to a seaside town, get banished to a convent, travel to Paris, and visit a Scottish castle in an effort to find Dolores' killer and clear Rose, who has been accused of the murder. Detecting is often a group activity for the pair, involving Harry, his gentleman's gentleman Becket, and anyone else currently in their circle. Meanwhile, obstacles and complications arise regarding Rose's on-and-off engagement to Harry and Daisy's romance with Becket.
Our Lady of Pain is a fast-moving, light-hearted melodrama with a pace and narration reminiscent of silent movies. Blending humor, mystery, and romance, Chesney gently educates the reader about English life in Edwardian times.
M.C. Beaton, Chesney also writes the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth series.