The discovery of a body at the home of an old friend marks the beginning of a new career as private investigators for a war veteran and a former nurse in 1930s Toronto.
Nick and Sylvia Jeffries are attending a weekend house party, hosted by Stephen Harper, a professor of archaeology at the city’s university.
Nick is on medical leave while he recovers from a gunshot wound, sustained in the line of duty in his role as a police officer, and the change of scene is welcome, after his lengthy convalescence.
Stephen and his late wife, Delta, had planned to build their new home in partnership with up-and-coming architect, Helena Clayden, but Delta succumbed to a brain tumour before the project was complete. Stephen is determined that the housewarming party should take place in Delta’s memory, although it’s a rather subdued gathering.
During the introductions, Stephen is alerted to the fact that the impressive waterfall in the grounds has slowed to a trickle. Intrigued, he and his guests set off to investigate and discover the waterway dammed up by a dead body.
After the medical examiner determines death by drowning, Nick puzzles over the unidentified man’s paint-stained hands and the many layers of clothing he has on. Sylvia suggests he may have been sleeping rough and wonder if he’d been an aspiring artist.
Stephen’s housekeeper confides that Delta’s had become paranoid, obsessed with the idea of someone watching her from the woods surrounding the house, and convinced that everyone, including her husband, meant to do her harm.
Nick and Sylvia set off on the trail of both murderer and victim, their investigation complicated by Stephen’s covering up the real cause of his wife’s death, and the revelation that Delta was keeping secrets of her own.
Writer – Kathryn Radmall