An unknown American tourist, who will one day achieve greatness, visits Carlisle to research his family history. His arrival coincides with Inspector Armstrong’s investigating of a macabre series of grave-robbing incidents in the city. The detective’s enquiries inadvertently lead him into investigating a case that had lain dormant for over seventy years.
The second case is set against the backdrop of the Great War. With the building of the enormous munitions factory at Gretna, Cornelius is faced with the impossible task of controlling thousands of navvies who built and work at the factory, intent on coming into Carlisle on a nightly basis to drink away their disposable income. Labour unrest, Irish sectarianism, women’s suffrage, and the Government’s State Management Scheme are all issues, that when combined, prove every bit as explosive as The Devil’s Porridge.