Dartmoor. A bitterly cold day, A storm rages–heavy wind, rain mixed with sleet. The roads are impassible, and anyone trapped outside would soon have perished.
A few friends have joined the family for what should have been a cozy gathering at Lord Billingsgate’s isolated manor house. They have plenty of food, drink (wine, brandy, and whisky), plus wood and coal for heating and cooking. What they do not have is a host. Lord Billingsgate has vanished without a trace.
Fortunately, among the guests is Billingsgate’s old college friend, the renowned amateur sleuth Randall (“Randy”) de Laytaunt. The last place Lord Billingsgate had been seen was ascending the seldom used stairs toward the attic. De Laytaunt had ascended those same stairs and found himself now in a dark, musty attic. He was accompanied by a fellow guest, Felicity Goodbody, whom he had enlisted as an assistant. \
Stacked against the wall were piles and piles of books, and in front of them a dark chest of drawers. Where did those books come from? Why were they in the attic? Who were the authors and what were the titles? And what about that chest of drawers, standing centered before the books almost like an altar?