Phryne Fisher drinks cocktails, dances the tango, is the companion of wharfies, and is expert at conducting an elegant dalliance. It’s the 1920s in Melbourne and Phryne is asked to investigate the puzzling death of a famous author and illustrator of fairy stories. To do so, Phyrne takes a job within the women’s magazine that employed the victim and finds herself enmeshed in her colleagues’ deceptions. But while Phryne is learning the ins and outs of magazine publishing first hand, her personal life is thrown into chaos. While waiting for her lover Lin Chung’s imminent return from a silk-buying expedition to China, she receives an unusual summons from Lin Chung’s family followed by a series of mysterious assaults and warnings.