A plea from a distraught mother involves a sleuthing author in a bizarre murder case.
Although Marjorie McClelland (Million Dollar Baby, 2006, etc.) is busy planning her wedding to Englishman Creighton Ashcroft, a wealthy fellow detective, she can’t turn down Elizabeth Barnwell’s request. Clutching her crying child, Elizabeth tells Marjorie that the police have shown no interest in her missing husband Michael. Her only clues are a scrap of paper with a house address and a numbered key. Going to the address, Marjorie and Creighton discover a dismembered female body in the cellar. When Marjorie’s former boyfriend Detective Jameson arrives on the scene with Officer Noonan, Creighton bets Jameson that he and Marjorie can discover the murderer first. It seems that the body is that of Barnwell’s mistress, Veronica Carter, but the plot thickens when a former boyfriend with a possibly murdered wife is added to the mix, and thickens still further when a friend of Veronica’s is murdered outside Creighton’s estate (in a case of mistaken identity?). Trying to rescue their wedding plans from a group of overenthusiastic townsfolk only adds to Marjorie and Creighton’s problems.
Though they’re no match for Nick and Nora, the sparkling Marjorie and her amiable beau make an engaging pair of sleuths in their third appearance.