When Nicolo Giambaccinni christens a new ocean liner, it blows up. Someone put nitroglycerin in the champagne. Murder suspects include his daughter Serena, his mistress Karen Ann, Karen Ann's agent Cody, and investor Wildcat Callahan.
Tabloid publisher Al Brodax is nearly electrocuted beside his pool. The prime suspects tried to sue him and lost: ex-con Hanrahan who became a scapegoat for his legal troubles; mobster Ross; a sexy centerfold; and a bigamist magician.
When football team owner Jock Stryker is killed, suspicion falls on quarterback Randy, a friend of Houston's. Many people wanted Stryker dead, including his abused girlfriend Andrea, his resentful gofer Crusher, and Coach Buck Turley.
Actress Ramona Landers reports to the set of her comeback film. Her young costar Todd Gallagher accuses her of drunkenness, then gulps her drink and dies of poisoning. Houston interviews her husband and those involved with the film.
Restaurant critic Roger Marsden's severed head is served in aspic to his snooty partner J Hamilton Goodfellow. The cops suspect a restaurant owner whose eatery the critics panned. And then attempts are made on Goodfellow's life.
The son of an Arab King is kidnapped while they're on his private plane while in flight. Later on recommendation of the his personal pilot, an old friend of Houston's, he hires Houston. The King suspects that someone on the plane brought the kidnapper on board. So while he does that, he learns that his son who was on his way for medical treatment has only a little time.
When the owner of a company that manufactures among other things robots is killed by one. Murray asks Houston to help his friend, the designer who was at odds with the man because he was planning to shut his project down. And among the suspects are the man's brother who was battling him for control and an unscrupulous businessman whom Houston knows who was in the building at the time of the incident.
At a hospital fund-raiser, Dr. Belkamp is shot by waiter Tom Chapman, a former orderly whom Belkamp fired for being inept. Chapman is killed while escaping. Did a member of the hospital research team hire him to kill Belkamp? If so, who?
When a boxer goes out to dinner with his wife, doctor and promoter. The doctor's nurse who arrives wanted to talk to the boxer but before she could she gets killed. His wife goes to Houston telling him that she thinks someone might be trying to kill her husband because he's had a few close calls lately. But the boxer doesn't want Houston around.
Cat food magnate Felix Randolph is killed by his pet tiger. The grounds-keeper is arrested but Houston thinks the killer is one of four ex-wives, who accuse each other and cannot lay claim to the estate until the murder is solved.
While being named Commodore of a yacht club, boorish Rawson Harmon IV is killed by a snake. Manager Honey Lewis asks Houston to investigate. Suspects include Honey; her restless son Jeb; sleazy filmmaker Bevak; & gambler Binky.
Houston goes to the office to meet some people who asked to see him. But when he gets there, he learns that they think he asked them to come. But Houston doesn't know all of them. But then one of the guests says that they do have something in common but that's when he's killed. And they find themselves locked in. And that's when someone is sending them messages which are suppose to be hints of why he is targeting them. And more people are getting killed. And more messages are being sent.
When a man Houston sent to prison escapes, he then makes an attempt on Houston but gets Bo instead. Houston tries to flush him by shaking down his old associates. He then learns that the man was broken out by a deranged billionaire who became a serial killer whom he caught, who's been in an insane asylum, so he has to find out how he's doing it. He also finds out that the man has recruited a couple of other men to get Houston.
Womanizing scientist Ivar Mardosian dies of an induced heart attack while in the desert with colleagues awaiting alien contact. Are aliens really visiting, or is this a staged hoax to cover up a murder? And who killed him?
Two men dressed like Laurel & Hardy try to kill C.J. Houston learns that some of her former sorority sisters have already been victims, and that the man that they had been dating could be responsible. But others are marked for murder, too.
During a carnival fund-raiser, vicious gossip columnist Vonda Moran is blown up because someone tampered with a "strength test" mallet & ringing bell attraction. Houston is subsequently kidnapped and persuaded to investigate.
Bloodied gunfire victim Eric Brant lands in a passing car, hands the driver a codebook, and gives her a message for Houston: Fear for Tomorrow. Brant dies when the car blows up. His assailants then go after Houston's buddy Vince Novelli.
After Houston's friend Winston Fowler's top jockey Cindy Gaines breaches her contract with him to move to England, she is fatally pitch-forked in a stable. Houston is found standing over her remains and subsequently arrested for her murder.
At a mystery writers' convention where Houston is the keynote speaker, publisher Wayne Slocum shoots hated mystery writer Emily Armor three times with a .45 magnum, then brazenly entreats his friend Houston to help solve her murder.