It's a beautiful June day in New York, but not for Thomas Purdue. His friend Edna Reynolds calls to say she's just murdered Marcus Wilcox, a tinhorn interior designer who's been harassing her. While trying to check out an unusual music box his friend Broadway Schwartz has sighted in a local antique store, Thomas is told they have no such box. And then he gets an urgent ER call to come treat his pal Frank the Crank, who's been badly beaten up.
Dead bodies accumulate; so do sightings of the mysterious music box. Edna decides Thomas needs her help and calls in octogenarian music-box dealer Sophie Soleski, safecracker Cleveland Gackle, super-antiques-picker Broadway Schwartz, and Jitters Levitsky, a young man with an unusual but useful neurological disorder. Big Al Resford flies in from London, bringing his own particular expertise.
In this complex, thoughtful sequel to The Music Box Murders and Scamming the Birdman, Thomas needs to fit together some very oddly-shaped puzzle pieces -- but disastrously misses the most important clue of all!