When Dodie Fanshaw escapes from cold, wet, snowy London in January, to stay with old Hollywood friends in Barbados, she soon becomes involved with the local English and American ex-pat community. They are a close group, meeting frequently at the bar and restaurant run by Americans Ryan and Betty. News and gossip spread quickly, so do suspicions. Enjoying the hot, sunny weather, the delightful scenery, old and new friendships, and almost by accident learning to sail, Dodie doesn't expect to encounter murder. But tensions are high, old quarrels are renewed when a divorced wife returns to the island, and when a body is discovered on the beach early one morning no one has an alibi though several people have motives. Dodie sets out to solve the mystery, and calls on Joe and Gerald, her two former husbands in California and London to get information on some of the suspects.