The memory of her late husband's slow and painful death is fresh in Anita Stratton's mind when she finds herself confronted with the high-voltage glare of national publicity when her first novel rockets into the best-seller lists. The furor she arouses leaves her publishers, the staid and respectable firm of Beetham Brothers, as bewildered as she herself is. A capable young secretary, Gail Sinclair, finds herself caught up in the Stratton affair when Anita asks her if she may join her on her drive through France during her summer holiday.
Everything seems on par for a pleasant mother trip filled with the sunshine and warmth of rural France, until Anita's late husband's sister, the enigmatic Mrs. Westerby, enters the scene. Dressed in a flourish of capes, feathers, and buckled shoes, Mrs. Westerby appears determined to steal the spotlight from her sister-in-law.