The story opens with Archie discovering a "honey-haired corpse" lying on the floor of her plush bedroom with a crushed skull. Archie determines that she is a doxy*—a fact that is key to the murder, its motivation, and perpetrator. As the characters reveal their relationships to the doxy, Wolfe is challenged to make deductions from a total lack of evidence. As they wrap up the case, Wolfe pronounces that Archie's role was "brilliant," a highly unusual accolade from a highly eccentric boss. * A doxy = a kept woman or a prostitute or a paramour = a lover, especially one in an adulterous relationship.