Arthur Waldegrave, heir to a vast estate and fortune, perishes in a spectacular fire. Yet rural Detective Inspector Saul Jackson and his bibulous but shrewd sergeant Herbert Bottomley establish that he was poisoned. Who would gain from Arthur's death? His brother Lance plagued by debt or Jeremy Beecham whose engagement to Margaret Waldegrave Arthur has opposed? Then a second murder uncovers the Calton Papers and a motive for Arthur's death.