The Earl of Burford can't believe his luck. Rex Ransom, his favourite star from the 'talkies', and his hot-shot producer, Haggermeir, want to film their next feature at Alderley, the family's seventeenth-century country estate.
Somewhat less enthusiastic is the Countess, who finds herself hosting an impromptu house party for the incoming Hollywood crowd. And before long the guest list grows to include two of their wilful daughter Lady Geraldine's dubious suitors, a long-lost cousin, a sultry femme fatale, a bespectacled librarian, an eccentric screenwriter, and a professional blackmailer.
It's almost too much for Merryweather, the family's imperturbable butler, to cope with. And that's before there's a murder in the dead of night. Inspector Wilkins must unravel the baffling mystery - and work out just what a mutilated mink coat has to do with anything.