The Midsomer Worthy's Writers' Circle has never had much luck in attracting guest speakers. Consequently, there is much surprise-and, in the case of the Circle's secretary, Gerald Hadleigh, a furious, inexplicable objection-when best-selling novelist Max Jennings accepts their invitation. Surprise turns into a variety of responses when Hadleigh is found dead the morning after Jennings' visitation. Chief Inspector Barnaby soon determines that the key to solving the murder will lie with the illustrious Jennings. There's only one problem: he has disappeared.