Introduced in A Little Gentle Sleuthing , plucky mystery writer Melissa Craig gets a taste of real-life nastiness in her low-key fourth adventure. Melissa agrees when millionaire Richard Mitchell asks her to write a murder mystery script for his birthday celebration on Halloween. But then in rehearsal at Mitchell's recently purchased Heyshill Manor Hotel in the Cotswolds, one of the players, a quiet, tense friend of Mitchell's, is fatally injured in a fall down the cellar steps. Mitch suspects the death was not accidental and asks Melissa to investigate quietly, suggesting she begin with the hotel manager. Melissa is puzzled to learn that the manager, whose wife has used exquisite art reproductions in decorating the hotel, has had a mechanic fit his car with a dummy tail pipe. On a walk in the countryside, she spies a car mysteriously leaving a hidden shed. As Halloween nears, Melissa uncovers a hidden stash of artwork and must figure out if the various mysteries she is encountering are connected. Fortunately her old friend Detective Chief Inspector Ken Harris comes to her aid and between them they solve the murder.