Immediately on her arrival at Ladies’ House, Ione Muir realizes that all is not right with her newly married sister, Allegra. The town of Bleake is charming, but the medieval manor house itself-known by a sinister local legend as Ladies’ Bane-is full of gloomy depths and twisting staircases. Her brother-in-law, Geoffrey Trent, intends to purchase the expensive property, with which he is clearly infatuated, although his wife seems frightened by it. But it is soon obvious that Allegra is under the constant influence of narcotics. Miss Silver, hired by Allegra’s godmother to investigate Geoffrey’s finances, is the first to suspect foul play when his mischevious young ward, Margot, dies in a mysterious accident. Her keen intellect and uncanny understanding of human nature help Miss Silver to reveal the ominous forces that are at work in this strange household.