London is the scene for a card party given by a social-climbing hostess. Suddenly, the seemingly civilized game of Duplicate Bridge is interrupted by a double murder, both victims murdered by the same sinister method, strangled with picture wire. The crimes seem identical, but were they carried out by the same hand? And, what was the connection between the first, a mysterious man of the world, and the second, an ambitious widow? Inspector Hemingway has his work cut out for him, and the odds of solving this crime are stacked up against him. Things become even more complicated when Miss Beulah Birtley, the fiancée of the inspector's young friend Timothy Kane, becomes Hemingway's prime suspect. Kane is determined to prove the lady's innocence-but when he begins digging into her past, he finds it's more than a little bit shady... That morning, Miss Beulah bought the weapon. Before supper, she had spit out her hatred for the victim in poisonous--and public--words. And at the party, she was the last to see him alive. They found him slumped in a chair-his handsome head lolling forward on his well-cut dinner jacket--his florid face hideously distorted. A horrible death, observed the Inspector. But very simple for a young lady like Beulah to arrange... Mrs. Haddington, the second victim, is found strangled in the exact same spot where one of her daughter's many suitors had also been strangled. Fortunately, the first-rate detective doesn’t miss a trick.