In a sleepy English village in the 1950s, a housekeeper dies. But was her death an accident? Or murder? Atticus Pund, a holocaust survivor and famous private detective, has nothing to go on and his own problems to deal with: a terminal illness is threatening to take him before he can finish writing his book. But then housekeeper's employer, Sir Magnus Pie, is beheaded in his own mansion. Can Atticus solve one last murder before his own clock runs out?
Meanwhile, in present day London, editor Susan Ryland receives the first draft of Alan Conway's latest Atticus Pund novel, she has no idea that her life is about to be flipped up-side-down. Not only is Alan about to kill off the most popular character in her publishing house's library, but the last chapter is missing - and Alan Conway is dead. Now she has to find the last chapter... and possibly solve a real live murder on her own.