DI Vera Stanhope is not one to make friends easily, but she has more tolerance for her hippy neighbours than most. When one of them goes missing, she feels duty-bound to find out what happened. It's an easy job to track the young woman down to a country retreat where aspiring authors gather to work through their novels. It gets complicated when a body is discovered and Vera's neighbour is found with a knife in her hand.
Calling in the team, Vera knows that she should hand the case over to someone else, but the investigation is too tempting. Then another body is found, and Vera suspects that someone is playing games with her.