1879, Queensland. Fleeing her family home, 19-year-old Mary Oxnam has few prospects and no connections. Plain and penniless, she must rely on her audacious wit and fierce intelligence to survive.
Mary soon finds work as a pianist in a Cooktown brothel, a cover for more lucrative employment as a spy into smuggling operations. Within a year she has moved to Lizard Island, locked into a marriage of convenience. It′s a rough, isolated place, crawling with hidden enemies — and unexpected temptation.
Mary dreams of making enough money to live on her own terms, far from the murky world of espionage in which she has become embroiled. But as the plot of her secret employers nears fruition, the stakes climb ever higher and Mary′s life is in great danger. Can her daring and luck save her one last time?