Warning: wikipedia contains spoilers
The hero of an earlier novel, Phineas Finn, now returns to the centre of the action, his wife Mary having died in childbirth. Once again an MP, he is again surrounded by admiring society women. The most available, and the one who loves him best, is the Austrian widow, Madame Marie Goesler. However, Phineas finds himself in trouble when his political enemy, Mr Bonteen, is murdered and he is accused of the crime. Madame Goesler searches tirelessly for the evidence to clear his name, and proves in court that the culprit is Mr Emilius, husband of Lady Eustace. Phineas retires from politics and marries Madame Goesler.