Characters: Vera Stanhope, detective
Holly and Joe, her asssistants
Lizzie Redhead, a young offender whose parents live in the converted farmhouse near where the murders take place
Percy, a local man is driving home from the pub when he stops to answer the call of nature. Off the side of the road he finds the body of a young man, a house-sitter for the big house, Gilswick Hall, whose owners are visiting Australia where they are about to become grand-parents. Vera Stanhope arrives on the scene and then takes Percy to the home he shares with his daughter Susan. She goes into the big house once a week to clean and has a key, which Vera takes, and with Joe they head to the house itself for clues to the identity of the deceased. They let themselves in through the kitchen and explore the area, only to find the body of another, older man in the apartment where the house sitter lived. Both of these men turn out to be avid students of moths and at first the team can find no other connection between the two. The nearest inhabitants to the crime scene are some retired couples who live in an old farm house that’s been converted to modern apartments. Lizzie Redhead’s parents live in one apartment and they are anxiously awaiting her return home from prison. Lizzie had served time for attacking a young woman with a knife and her parents are understandably uneasy about having her back home with them, although they love their daughter, they don’t know how to handle her. She was locked up when the murders took place, but she may have known the killer.