When his girlfriend, Bobbi, invites Jack to a party at the home of a popular artist, he never imagines it will descend into anything more sinister than sarcasm and artsy chatter. Unfortunately, Jack isn't able to mind his own business when he overhears the beginning of a beating, triggered when one of the artists, Evan is caught cheating at dice by some local hoods. When he faces down Evan's assailants, he gets drawn farther into the affairs (some literal) of artists more than he had hoped.
When Evan's sister, Sandra, is killed shortly after that, Jack's suspicions immediately turn to some sort of revenge attempt either by the angry gamblers, or a debt collection gone horribly wrong, as it turns out Evan owes money to a few gangsters, as well. Things get even more complicated when Jack finds out that the first wife of the sister's boyfriend, Alex Adrian, committed suicide - or was it murder?
The deeper Fleming and his friend, Escott, delve into the situation, the more of a tangled web they discover. Not the most exciting one of these chronicles so far, but it explores Jack and Charles' crime-solving skills a bit, and sets up some situations for later on.