Recently distracted by the arrival of her and Jamie's second son, Magnus, Isabel Dalhousie, philanthropic editor of the Review of Applied Ethics, is anxious. The next issue of the Review is far from ready, her eldest, Charlie, is jealous, and their housekeeper, Grace, has an officious approach to childcare. With some relief, Isabel returns to helping out at her niece Cat's delicatessen, where surely the most taxing duty is the preparation of sandwiches. It's not long before Isabel's helpful, philosophical nature draws her into customers' problems, specifically that of ambitious, self-proclaimed matchmaker, Bea Shandon. Bea has staged a potentially dangerous liaison involving enigmatic plastic surgeon, Tony MacUspaig, who may not be quite who he claims to be, and Isabel's help is required in getting to the truth of the matter. When the truth finally reveals itself, Isabel must conclude that along with MacUspaig, Bea, Jamie, and even Cat, she herself is not immune to misunderstandings, or the neurotic fantasies that arise from keeping secrets.