The story takes place in Apron St., 'a strange decayed sort of neighbourhood', Dickensian London-at once entertaining and disquieting. Due to Allingham's unique gift for making place as vivid as character, the atmosphere is one of frozen in time, unchanged since the Victorian era. London is described as a series of villages in which the Palinodes act as squires. The characters are, as usual, quite wonderful, and the villains are true 'Margery Allingham evil.' Nobody does this quite like her.