What happens when a teacher from a girls' boarding school near Ballantyne resort is late getting back from vacation? Arabella Stewart is asked to substitute, but she finds the position involves more than lesson planning. Her sleuthing skills are needed, especially after the school secretary also goes missing. Bella and her friend Ida Byington, a faculty member, start investigating. Soon, Constable Jax Hastings is also on the case, and the trio work against time to solve more than one baffling absence.