No one would have guessed that death lurked nearby, and that only a little distance from the glitter and glamour of a house party, two victims lay silent on the floor. On a fine autumn weekend, Lord Aveling hosts a party at his country house. Among the guests are an actress, a journalist, an artist, and a mystery novelist. The unlucky thirteenth is John Foss, injured at the local train station and brought to the house to recuperate - but John is nursing a secret of his own. Soon events take a sinister turn when a painting is mutilated, a dog stabbed, and a man strangled. Death strikes more than one of the house guests, and the police are called. Detective Inspector Kendall's skills are tested to the utmost as he tries to uncover the hidden past of everyone there.