Bernie Rhodenbarr – a romantic? Hey, even burglars fall in love and in this case it's Bernie doing the falling, with the lovely and alluring Ilona. Night after night, sharing popcorn in the flickering shadow of a Bogie movie, Bernie finds himself tongue-tied – sometimes literally. It would appear Ilona's now doing all the stealing. Well, not really. Bernie's been approached by the oddly named Hugo Candlemas to pilfer a posh East Side apartment, make off with the portfolio and collect a fast, easy sum. A reasonable enough request for a trained burglar, sure, but just when things are going well, things turn bad.