India 1922. When a tiger, turned man-eater, starts terrorising the northern villages of Ranipur, Governor Sir George Jardine dispatches Joe Sandilands, war hero and Scotland Yard detective, to join in a hunt for the beast as the guest of the maharajah. But Joe's suspicions are soon roused about the true nature of his trip.
The maharajah is dying and his succession is unclear. The first heir to the throne has already died in a panther-wrestling incident and a second violent death occurs as Joe approaches the city. Misadventure or intention? In the glittering court, surrounded by scheming characters, Joe must track down a clever murderer, finding his way through a maze of intrigue to corner the Palace Tiger.