The Bentley's London household is in a state of flux. The elderly matron is on her deathbed; so her son, recently returned from France, is acting as the new master of the house. While he is busy developing a reputation in anthropometry, the science of identifying criminals by body measurements, he is unaware of the secrets of the women in the household--the mysterious woman who claims to be the bride of his dead brother, the new maid from the country, and even his own wife--keep from him. A fascinating portrayal of nineteenth-century England and a page-turning mystery, The Dark Lantern exposes the genteel "upstairs" of a Victorian home, as well as the darker underside of its servants' quarters. The clash of these two classes makes for a suspenseful novel of mistaken identities, intriguing women, and dangerous deception.