Musician Kim Stanger returns to his hometown, but is troubled by a vague premonition that something is wrong. Indeed, his friends and family seem quite uncomfortable to see him. He particularly wants to see his father, but he learns that his father is dead. His family tells him that his father died of a heart attack while playing tennis four years ago, but Kim finds a number of discrepancies in the details they give him. He insists on finding out what really happened, even when everyone seems determined to stop him from learning the truth.
Shortly after having a quick breakfast with his wife and the new cook whom they have recently hired, Ralph Montgomery suffers a bad attack of indigestion, and continues to have trouble afterward. Later, he reads a newspaper story about a housekeeper who has poisoned several of her employers, and who is still at large. Ralph begins to suspect the worst, and he takes a cup of cocoa from the kitchen to a chemist, in order to have it analyzed.
Before leaving on a trip to America, a man kills his wife and buries her in the basement. Once in the United States. he receives correspondence tipping him off that the murder will undoubtedly be exposed.
When Clint Ringle learns that Ellie Marsh, the schoolteacher whom he loves, is engaged to Walt Norton, Clint kills Walt and then hides in the schoolhouse's bell tower, waiting for his chance to exact further revenge.
After Dana Edwards' fiancée Laura is killed by a hit-and-run driver, he is visited by John Hurley, who claims to be able to use memory recall techniques that will help him to remember the car's license plate number.
Paula Hudson has a stolen mink coat she tells police she purchased on a recommendation, and when they retrace her steps to find out how she obtained it, everyone denies they ever talked to her about it.