Halifax Chronicle-Herald newspaper reporter Judith Cass is in Frankfurt attending a book fair, she there to write an article on up and coming Canadian author Jonathan Matthews who is writing a book rumored to be of major historical significance. Judith's story takes a major turn when Jonathan, during the fair's opening night party, collapses and dies. The police later report that Jonathan was poisoned to death. Jonathan had a personal history with publisher Marsha Hillier, Judith's friend who is also at the fair to promote the yet unfinished book of her star author, Margaret Dourie Cantor. Jonathan's murder is the latest but worst of Marsha's problems at the fair. Marsha has also been having problems with Margaret and Margaret's agent, Martin Barrett - who was also Jonathan's agent - about Margaret's inaccessibility to the book fair's buyers and the questionable quality of the chapters she's written thus far. Judith, looking for the answers to Jonathan's murder in wanting a good story but also to help her friend Marsha, works with Ernst Murnau, the Frankfurt police inspector assigned to the case. They all figure that the answers to Jonathan's murder may be found somewhere in his manuscript.