Twenty years ago Roger Norton Vane went for a walk in the Thai jungle and never returned. After years of wild speculation and fruitless searches, finally his death is to be made official and somebody will inherit his accumulated wealth.
Ethelred Tressider, crime writer and Vane’s biographer, attends the memorial service, but little does he expect to find himself talking to Vane himself, apparently returned from the dead. Chaos ensues and while trying to complete the biography it becomes clear that many people wish the man calling himself Vane had stayed dead, and that his anecdotes had died with him . . .
With dubious help from his redoubtable literary agent Elsie Thirkettle, Ethelred is drawn into an increasingly complex and bloody mystery, and all he knows for certain is that someone has done a serious hatchet job on Vane.