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Axel Belmont, botanist, widower, and magistrate, investigates the murder of Gregory Stoneleigh. He soon discovers that the late Mr. Stoneleigh was a nasty piece of work. In fear for Gregory's widow's life (she was being poisoned by someone), Axel moves Abigail Stoneleigh to the safety of his home, Candlewick, while his investigation continues into the life of her late husband. A deep mutual love grows between the widower and the widow. It is hamper by the on going murder investigation, neighborhood gossip, and Axel's ambition for a fellowship at Oxford University (mere fellows are not allowed to be married).
I enjoyed this book tremendously, especially the character of Axel Belmont. Alas, he a fictional character.