Vera Kennedy, widow of Professor James Kennedy, wants to be a scientist, but in Victorian Boston, that isn’t an option for women. Nevertheless, after assisting her husband in the laboratory with his experiments, she has learned everything she could through his unintended tutelage. After his death, she continues his work until she veers off onto a different path with her own experiments, which threaten to consume her to the exclusion of all else.
Georgette Harris, widow of Professor Roland Harris, has been left destitute in the wake of her husband’s death. He had amassed mountains of debt and left Georgette to pay it, in any way she could, and now she occupies a dilapidated and mostly empty mansion with what little food her remaining housekeeper can scrounge. So when a medicinals company wants to purchase a formula that Roland had proposed to them, Georgette searches for it without success, and then discovers evidence that her husband had worked with James Kennedy. Armed with this information, she seeks the help of Vera in uncovering the missing formula.
But Vera is not one to give up secrets easily, though she is inexplicably drawn to Georgette. Despite her reservations, she considers Georgette’s request, and they soon discover that both their husbands were involved in an experiment layered in deception and danger. Together, they sort through mysterious clues and talk to unscrupulous men in order to discover what that outcome was supposed to be and in the process, they may discover something far stronger between them.