A tale of romance and suspense in the French countryside.
Linda is hired to be the governmess for they nine-year-old Phillippe, a young count with a large estate. His aunt, hiring her, makes much of her being English and so not knowing French well, and so she hides that her mother had been French, and she had grown up in France for much of her childhood before her parents died, and she ended up in an English orphanage.
She also remembers her parents talking about his uncle, now wheel-chair bound after an accident, and how dangerous he was.
Settling in nicely is interrupted when a stray bullet nearly hits Phillipe -- it would have, if he had not stumbled.
The rest of the tale involves many allusions to many literary tales, a sleepwalker, a ball, Linda's buying fabric for a dress and then foolishly leaving it in a cafe, the uncle's son by his first marriage, an English housekeeper, and much more.