Francesca Cahill is a bluestocking in New York City in the early 1900's. She's lucky enough to come from an extremely wealthy family but is very concerned with the political issues of the day, such as the living conditions of the city's working poor, and the corrupt police department. At 20, Francsca's parents are anxious for her to get married, but she's more concerned with obtaining a degree from Barnard College, where she's secretly enrolled.
Francesca meets Rick Bragg, the new city police commissioner, at a fancy party at her parents' house and find herself uncharacteristically flustered by him. It's not long before a child is kidnapped and Francesca is insinuating herself into the police investigation.
The nice thing about this series is that since it centers on one person, everything doesn't have to wrap up neatly by the last page. The case is solved, but we don't know what will happen between Francesca and Rick, and whether Francesca will pursue her hairbrained scheme to become (presumably the first woman) private investigator.