When the illustrious India Hartley is accused of murder, she has to uncover the deceptions of others to save herself. India Hartley, the famous and beautiful actress, is now alone in the world after her father's death and embarks upon a tour of theaters across the South. Her first stop is Savannah's Southern Palace. On the eve of the second night's performance, something goes horribly wrong. Her co-star, Arthur Sterling, is shot dead on stage in front of a packed house, and India is arrested and accused of the crime. A benefactor hires Philip Sinclair, the best--and handsomest--lawyer in Savannah to defend India. A widower, Philip is struggling to reinvent his worn-out plantation on St. Simons Island. He needs to increase his income from his law practice in order to restore Indigo Point, and hardly anything will bring him more new clients than successfully defending a famous actress on a murder charge. Because India can't go anywhere in town without being mobbed, Philip persuades the judge handling her case to let him take her to Indigo Point until her trial date. India is charmed by the beauty of the Georgia low country and is increasingly drawn to Philip. But a locked room that appears to be a shrine to Philip's dead wife and the unsolved disappearance of a former slave girl raise troubling questions. Piecing together clues in an abandoned boat and a burned-out chapel, India discovers a trail of dark secrets that lead back to Philip, secrets that ultimately may hold the key to her freedom. If only he will believe her.
Those featured in Volume 10 include Margaret Martyr, a singer, actress, and dancer whose “conjugal virtues were often impeached,” according to the July 1792 Thespian Magazine. The Dictionary describes this least constant of lovers as “of middling height, with a figure well-proportioned for breeches parts. [Her] black-haired, black-eyed beauty and clear soprano made her an immediate popular success in merry maids and tuneful minxes, the piquant and the pert, for a quarter century.”