The story begins in Vienna just before Hitler and his gang seize Austria. Verity is a journalist and has been in Vienna trying to report on the state of the country as the Nazis advance. As a well-known anti-Fascist and Communist, she is one of the first to be deported when Hitler takes over. Before her enforced departure she arranges for a young Jew, Georg Dreiser, to escape certain death and flee to England. But it is in England, where he least expects it, that danger and sudden death catch up with him.
Corinth has an encounter with death as well. He is at the home of Lord Louis Mountbatten to meet his friend the Maharaja of Batiala. Edward's nephew Frank stumbles upon the corpse of Peter Gray, a painter of some repute. The police are satisfied that he died of natural causes but his niece, Vera, has reason to believe this is not the case. So, between them, Edward and Verity set about the investigation of two murders. Overshadowing the mysteries is the ever-present threat of war. And the two sleuths also find a way to do their part in saving those that they can from the clutches of the Nazis in Austria.