Returning from an overseas assignment Lanyard is suspected of being involved in a gem smuggling operation. He is pursued by private investigators and law enforcement as he attempts to clear his name by discovering who is really behind the operation.
Inhabitants of San Francisco's Chinatown are in an uproar after a series of killings believed undertaken by a local American. Lanyard must first confirm their suspicion is correct then somehow get the killer passed Chinese vigilantes and into the hands of the police.
While visiting friends working for a circus, Lanyard becomes aware of an insurance investigator who has been assigned to the circus trying to discover where a large sum of money from a robbery might be. Lanyard wants no part of the investigation, but circumstances give him little choice.
Lanyard is recruited by the Govt. to find out where all the top criminals have been disappearing to. He is to contact an agent named Anson is New York. Upon contact Anson is killed and the only lead he leaves Lanyard is key to the Blue Lantern dance hall. The attempt to infiltrate fails and his next gamble takes him to the Blue Lantern in New Orleans where he is more successful and the final key to the puzzle leads him to the Copper Mountain Lodge in Nevada.
Vance Connor on the verge of bankruptcy asks Lanyard to travel to the Philippines to investigate some under handed business activity he's discovered. The trip becomes more complex when Vance insists his daughter travel with Lanyard.
Lanyard is in San Francisco on the hunt for Anton Morgay when he is contacted by a woman claiming to be on the same quest. Lanyard joins forces with the woman but is doubtful of her motives of wanting to locate Anton.
Lanyard is contacted by an old friend Bill Roche who has a new patient. What is unusual the patient claims to have killed a man. Bill asks Lanyard to investigate and see if the murder is real or the creation of a sick man.
Lanyard goes to skid row after receiving a phone call from an old friend Father Picard. The priest believes a man on death row is actually innocent, and even though time is short, Picard hopes Lanyard can prove the man's innocence.
Lanyard travels to Chicago when he receives an urgent note from Joey Crocetti. A war time buddy who saved Lanyard in Italy during the war. Lanyard discovers Joey is on the run from the police, and he sets out to try to prove his friend innocent.
Lanyard leaves Mexico but once he arrives back the US he is immediately arrested by the police and put into hospital quarantine. To Lanyards shock he discovers he's been in contact with people who are dying of cholera.
Mike while on his way to Denver. He he is contacted by the Henshaw brothers. Their father recently died and the will reveals a large amount of money missing. They suspect the money is hidden some where in the house willed to the fathers house keeper.
Lanyard is contacted by an archaeologist and given an extremely rare Aztec coin. As Lanyard investigates with the Mexican government, he finds the coin is real, and a large number of them remain hidden in the jungle.
Lanyard hears an old friend Pete Caseman is in trouble for murder and robbery. Lanyard knows the man well from their days together in the war. Lanyard is convinced Caseman is innocent and sets out to prove his case.
Lanyard flies into Beverly Hills from Reno and checks into the Beverly Hills Hotel. The clerk informs him he's already checked in...by his wife. Mrs. Michael Lanyard is waiting in his room with a story that they married in Reno and a license to prove it. Lanyard plays along for awhile as he tries to figure out who is playing the joke on him. The game stops being amusing when one of his friends is furious with him and Lanyard has no idea why.
Lanyard is invited by an old friend Les Benson, for reasons he does not understand, to witness a test flight of a new jet design. The aircraft crashes leading Lanyard to become personally involved in the life of his friend.
Lanyard is asked to check if the husband and daughter of Mary Morgan are indeed dead. She has a strong suspicion her husband has staged the event as a way to disappear with their daughter after Mary asked for a divorce.
Micahel Lanyard arrives on a small Pacific Island after receiving a cable for help from an old friend named Suva Polege. He is an islander who is a Yale graduate and a credit to his country. After some inquiries to his whereabouts Lanyard is detained and questioned by the police. They claim that Suva has reverted to the savage ways of his ancestors and is stirring up the natives with barbaric rituals. Lanyard can't believe this of his friend and will have to find him to get to the truth.
Lanyard helps a couple of friends who have been deep sea divers. One of them is accused of stealing silver plate from a salvage job they are involved in. Lanyard is convinced they are innocent and decides to try to proves his case.
Lanyard is asked to investigate a series of death in a Balkan village. Mrs Grafton Bern has recently purchased a nearby castle and her financial advisor fears she may be in danger from werewolf attacks.
Lanyard is driving past a country house when he hears shots fired. Investigating he discovers a man who has just shot his wife. Lanyard must figure out how to convince the man to give himself up, and to stop himself being shot.