Sir Roger Parkes is a man of some influence in the West Country. When he loses touch with his youngest daughter, he has a word with the Assistant Chief Constable of the local force. It's not a police matter, he is told, but if Sir Roger wants to pursue it privately, there is a lady who might be able to help-two of them, actually. As far as Summer Lane is concerned, she has enough problems without going into the investigations business with her next door neighbor; Mrs. Emily Willows's problems all seem to center around the fact that her neighbor is refusing to go into the investigations business with her. They have reached, it seems, an impasse. Until, that is, Emily notices that someone has left a message on her answering machine . . .