The elaborate robbery of a bank ends with the unprovoked shooting death of its owner, financier Victor S. Barrows. The key to solving the mystery is locating one of perpetrators, a man so average in appearance that nobody can clearly describe him.
Carhop waitress April Adams is found murdered in an automobile scrapyard. The discovery that she had over $40,000 in the bank indicates that she had a second income that was both lucrative and illicit.
Pop artist Andy Zygmunt is fatally impaled on the spikes of one of his creations. The discovery that he blackmailed people into buying his works provides a motive and five suspects: his last four customers and the possessor of a missing fifth work.
Housewife Molly Brown, a brunette, is found dead in her shower, the apparent victim of a fall and drowning. But the autopsy shows that she was strangled and the discovery of blond wig hairs on four of her dresses is the first indication of her very busy secret life.
Socialite equestrian William Henry Otis IV, nicknamed WHO IV ("WHO Four"), is beaten to death in his stable with a horseshoe from a riding trophy. The suspects are the regulars in his weekly fox hunts, among them Burke's old flame Jennifer and her husband St. John ("Sinjin") Carlisle, and, of course, the butler.
Party girl Annie Foran is found strangled in the back seat of a customer's car at the exclusive restaurant Club Nova. Suspicion falls on her ex-boyfriend, baseball sensation Eddie Dineen, who was there at the time in the company of his mentor, the acerbic columnist Whitman Saunders, and Saunder's assistant, Milo Morgan.
Using a .38 revolver with a silencer, an assailant murders heiress Diana Mercer in her bedroom after she's been dropped off by her date that night -- her old flame, Amos Burke. As he investigates her death, Burke discovers that the woman who was murdered was a far cry from the one he knew and loved years earlier.
Nirvana is an upscale health spa for women only in the wooded hills near LA. The karma there is disrupted when socialite Celia Bannerman, a notorious husband stealer, is found murdered in the mud bath. Suspicion centers on the five women who shared her bungalow. Four had reasons to kill her and all received a free stay at Nirvana courtesy of an unknown party.
The unpleasant Benjamin Glory, one half of the ownership of the Glory Lee fashion house, is found dead in an elevator after it crashes. But he was dead before he ever entered it, killed by "a sharp and blunt instrument".
Rising actress and beach queen Tina Romaine surfs a difficult wave, walks a few steps, and drops dead. A bullet grazed her right temple, but the wound was superficial and the autopsy finds that she was killed by an archaic poison. Posing as a beach bum, Tim goes undercover to infiltrate the surfing crowd.
While the water for her before dinner bath is being drawn, high society blackmailer Cassandra Cass is gunned down in her bedroom in her mansion. The prime suspects are her four victims, all of whom had been invited to dinner that evening. And, of course, there's the butler.
While hosting a garden party on a sunny Sunday afternoon, modeling mogul Charles Lee Horne telephones the homicide squad and asks for Burke. A single rifle shot ends both the phone call and Horne's life. The investigation takes an unexpected and disturbing twist when one of Horne's models, Felice Knight, files an internal affairs complaint alleging that Tim helped her to blackmail Horne into signing her.
Four poker buddies celebrate the first anniversary of their weekly games with a private party at the Hillsdale Country Club. The festivities end when all four men are killed by a bottle of poisoned wine. There is no shortage of suspects. Besides having four unhappy wives, the men had incurred the ire of Butterfield, the club's historian, baseball coach, and busybody.
The life of hotel magnate Cornelius Gilbert comes to an electrifying finish when somebody hot wires the metal ladder in his swimming pool. A torn piece of plaid cloth, a gold St. Christopher's medal, and Gilbert's annual round-the-world charter flight are the clues.
Murdered Lenore has left a note that she's changing her will with the heir as nephew Jay Boy who is involved with daughter of Jim Clover who needs Lenore's land to complete his development but Jay Boy's fiancée Effie Mae is in town.
When wealthy Amenor arrives in town to sell a lucrative oil lease, an apparent sniper attack on Amenor kills his bookkeeper and suspicion immediately suggests the culprit is one of three parties vying for deal.
Escape artist Jack Merlin at a convention of competitive magicians attempts his stock in trade trick of staying under water for five hours sealed in coffin with an hour air supply but he dies - from a gunshot wound.
After a developer is found stabbed to death and on a meat hook, another man is found dead with the same letter of a list of six names discovered on the developer which includes Amos and then Amos receives such a letter.