Sir John Dewey Fanning (Jack to his familiars) is magistrate in a corner of Oxfordshire plagued by one incident of petty mischief after another. To add to his aggravation, his matchmaking mama is due for a prolonged visit, just when his domestic staff is at sixes and sevens. Jack turns to Miss Madeline Hennessey both to organize his household and to serve as his mother's temporary companion, despite the fact that he's long harbored feelings for the ever-competent (and lovely!) Miss Hennessey. Madeline reluctantly accepts the position, and proximity leads to investigations of an amorous nature. Can Jack stop the crime spree and steal Madeline's heart, too?