What has happened to Aunt Violet? Helen Gamlen isn't sure anything has, but when Martin Andras turns up unannounced on her doorstep one night, implying that her aunt has disappeared, she feels she should try to clear things up once and for all.
Martin's interest in Violet's fate is purely selfish: her house in Burnstone had belonged to his grandfather, who left it to his faithful housekeeper for her lifetime. When she dies it will return to Martin's mother, and later, of course, to him.
But when Helen arrives on her aunt's doorstep, she finds she isn't the only person looking for a missing lady . . .