ith Jack Halford away following the acquittal of Ricky Hanson, Sandra, Gerry and Brian investigate the death of actor Michael Austin, who was shot dead during the performance of a play. The gun was loaded with blanks, but a piece of metal lodged in the barrel killed him. The death was ruled accidental at the time, but Austin's daughter Catherine has recently written a book, and new evidence in the form of a threatening note has come to light. The team is joined by a young officer on the fast track for promotion, James Strickland, the DAC's nephew. They interview Austin's then wife, Helen Brownlow (she's also an actress and the one who fired the gun on stage) and the stage manager, Derek Bennett, as well as Catherine Austin's agent, Mel Simons, who sent the note to her publishers. Forensics indicate that the letter may have been doctored. Meanwhile, the boys have forgotten Sandra's birthday, but she does accept a dinner invitation from the young Strickland.

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