When Mr Thomas Tapley, a respectable but down-at-heel gentleman, is found bludgeoned to death, his neighbour Inspector Benjamin Ross of Scotland Yard rushes to the scene. Tapley had recently returned from abroad but little else is known about the elusive man. Then on hearing the news of Thomas's death, Mr Jonathan Tapley, QC, comes forward and the truth about his cousin's tragic past slowly begins to emerge. Meanwhile, Ben's wife Lizzie is convinced that Tapley was being followed on the day he died. As the list of possible suspects begins to mount, Ben can't help wondering who would benefit most from Tapley's unfortunate demise?