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uzie Colebrook is electrocuted by a roulette wheel sent to her house. She was the legal executor and supposed lover of thriller writer George Summersbee whose Jed Dagger novels she also illustrated. At the same time a newly discovered manuscript by George of an unpublished Dagger story is stolen from Suzie's home. A local crime fiction festival is going on, run by Maggie Markham, whose doctor husband Nick Summersbee has written his brother George's biography whilst George's daughter Bella, rather than estranged wife Jeanie, is his sole heir. Following a second murder Barnaby finds out that both were copied from killings in a Dagger novel though the victim was a stranger to Suzie. There are a number of people anxious for different reasons to locate the missing manuscript but there are also suggestions that it is a fake. Furthermore there are differing accounts of George's death. Barnaby has to resort to the printed page to solve the mystery of the Dagger club.

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