Spencer Dumarque, fourth Duke of Morland, always arrives at a ball at midnight, chooses one young woman for a waltz and leaves. Lady Amelia d’Orsay impetuously tries her luck and wins a dance, but she is concerned when he appears ill. Suddenly he carries her from the ballroom. Her concern for his health resonates with Spencer and he falls deeply in love with her. Spencer proposes to Amelia, but he is a mystery to her and she wants answers.
Spencer belongs to The Stud Club, a group of men who gamble on winning a thoroughbred. The man who holds 10 tokens claims the horse. Spencer has four. One member of the club has already been murdered for his token. Amelia suggests they hold a party where Spencer might win tokens and unmask a killer. But complications arise when Amelia’s wastrel brother, Jack, arrives with the missing token and then disappears with Spencer’s ward. Mystery upon mystery unfolds until Amelia uncovers the truth and the realization that Spencer’s love is all that matters. (BALLANTINE, Jun., 416 pp., $7.99)