Brighton in the 1870s is a popular tourist destination, but when little Sidney Barker dies mysteriously from Strychnine-poisoned chocolates, the town is thrown into panic. Was it an accident or is someone out to harm Brighton? When strange parcels of arsenic-laced cakes are sent to prominent Brighton residents and more children are poisoned by packets of sweets found lying about the town, the police step up the search for a serial poisoner. Brighton policeman, Inspector Gibbs, finds himself on the toughest case he has ever faced. At first, it appears he is dealing with a motiveless crime, but as he delves into the lives of the victims, he realizes there is cold calculation behind the poisonings. Who is determined to take revenge on the town? His hunt takes him into the dark side of middle-class poverty, family insanity, and the Victorian obsession with sex and scandal.