While on a much-needed respite with her husband, Sam, in Nottinghamshire, undertaker Violet Harper is summoned to Welbeck Abbey by the Fifth Duke of Portland to prepare a body. His Grace is known as the "mad duke", and Violet has more than an inkling of why when she arrives at the grand estate and discovers that the corpse in question is that of the duke's favorite raven, Aristotle. Many of the duke's servants believe a dead raven is a harbinger of doom, and the peculiar peer hopes to allay their superstitious fears with an elaborate funeral for his feathered friend. But Aristotle's demise is soon followed by the violent murder of one of the young workers on the estate. Wishing to avoid any whisper of scandal, the reclusive duke implores Violet to conduct her own discreet investigation. In her hunt for evidence, Violet wonders if the manner of the raven's death might provide a crucial clue in solving the crime...before someone else - including herself - risks an untimely fate.
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- Amy Lee