She takes us back through the generations, relating incidents of hauntings which seemed to be more severe whenever any addition or renovation was planned on the house. It seems that Lady Barbara doesn't like the idea of anyone messing with her home. [Though given her story, I can't for the life of me figure out what she cares so much about the place.]
The second half of the story tells about the wicked lady herself. A rare beauty, born with more intelligence and thirst for excitement than was good for her in the times she lived, we meet Barbara when she's preparing to wed Sir Ralph Skelton. It's an excellent match and all that a young woman of her time could hope for. For some reason, Barbara thinks that getting married is going to lift her out of the humdrum life she's led up till now--learning manners and to dance and other feminine occupations to make her marriageable material. It doesn't matter that she doesn't love Sir Ralph; it's all going to be perfectly thrilling. But if she's paid any attention at all to the lives of the married women around her, one has to wonder where she got the idea that getting married was the gateway to some grand, exciting adventure.
Needless to say, she's sorely disappointed. Once married, her life settles down into one long gossip session with various female relations all while "sitting on cushions and sewing a fine seam." Can you say bored? Barbara is bored out of her ever-lovin' mind. She takes up card-playing (within the family circle) and manages to lose her most prized possession--a necklace left her by the mother who died when she was young--to her much-hated sister-in-law. That's when she has her brainstorm--she'll dress up like a ruffian and waylay her sister-in-law's carriage and steal back her beloved necklace. She manages to pull off the robbery and has such an exhilarating time that she takes up a secret life of crime. Of course, the excitement is like a drug to Barbara and she has to commit more daring and more dangerous feats to keep riding high as it were. She's soon caught in a life of robbery, adultery, and even murder. But it all goes well for Barbara...until she makes the mistake of falling in love and this leads to tragedy.
The historical details are are also interesting and King-Hall does a fine job differentiating the the various time periods covered--from World War II era to Victorian to Regency to the 17th Century. All very interesting. So--for Lady Sophia and the historical detail, I'm giving ★★ and 1/2.