The scene is an estate cottage in the north of England, where the famous actress, Stella Cavendish, accompanied by her attractive young niece, Mary, is recuperating from a hectic season and a bit too much high living. They are looked after by a cook-housekeeper (and local character) named Wimpi, and are soon joined by Dennis Mordaunt, Stella's producer and would-be suitor, and her fellow actress and arch rival, Flavia Dartega. Add in the surprise appearance of Oliver Keane (Stella's former leading man) and his dashing young nephew Peter (who is immediately captivated by Mary), and both the plot and the romantic possibilities quicken. The arrival of the bustling Nurse Pepper rounds out the cast and begins the progression of chilling (and frequently funny) events (including murder, actual and attempted) leading on to the unexpected and ingeniously devised denouement—in which the true identity of the villain is shielded until the last possible moment.
Deftly combining humor and suspense, this cleverly constructed thriller brings together a cast of thoroughly charming and witty "theatre people" and plunges them into an ever-thickening plot of murder, mayhem and disguised identity.