When obscure crime writer Ethelred Tressider vanishes from his home, his indefatigable agent, Elsie Thirkettle, is soon on his trail. Finding him proves surprisingly easy. Bringing him home is another matter. Having followed Ethelred to a hotel in the French Loire, she finds herself confined there with him after a prominent philatelist is murdered. Elsie is torn between her natural desire to interfere in the police investigation and her urgent need to escape to the local chocolatier.