In 1814, with Napoleon finally defeated, the great and the good of Europe descend on Vienna to plan a lasting peace - and to dance. Ejected from her home on the death of her father, Lizzie Gaunt - along with her gaggle of siblings and a large, unruly dog - finds herself in Vienna with her diplomat uncle. But Lizzie is determined t to remain dependent upon her aunt and uncle for long. After witnessing a daring theft, she recruits the unusual thief to carry out her plan - which should hurt one except her father's heir, the vile Russian cousin she's dubbed Ivan the Terrible. However, Lizzie's simple scheme is soon complicated by a wounded Austrian spy, a formidable English matron, a masked Russian rakehell from the Emperor's masquerade ball, and a mysterious villain selling information that could ruin the Congress before it properly begins. And then there's Cousin Minerva's romantic difficulties, and Cousin James' gambling debts to sort out. While Vienna dances, Lizzie tries to solve everyone's problems, and ends by falling disastrously and dangerously in love.