Hard times have fallen on the Murder League. Trevor Foyle, Dora Winslow, and Bartie Cruickshank, now in their seventies, are the only surviving founders of this very proper British club that once counted Agatha Christie and John Dickson Carr among its ranks. Over the years, they've watched in dismay as their eccentric detectives, murders in locked rooms, and arcane clues have gone out of fashion. Thanks to television, people now know how real murder is committed and have seen that it is far from the elegant, stylish affairs they used to write about. Taunted by a younger colleague—a writer of violent, sexually-graphic crime stories—the three elderly members of the League concoct a plan to revitalize interest in their kind of murder…by committing one themselves! Of course they plan to be caught—how else is everyone to know how brilliant their crime was unless it is solved? And after all, at their ages life imprisonment seems a small price to pay for the resurrection of their beloved mystery story. What they fail to take into account is that murder as it was done in their books was always a rather strenuous affair, and that in real life things don't always happen like clockwork—especially when there are recalcitrant chandeliers, malfunctioning rifles and corpses in gorilla suits to deal with. At first, things go disastrously wrong for the would-be killers, then—in a breathtakingly unexpected first act climax—spectacularly right! But they are not out of the woods yet, for the inspector refuses to believe it was murder (he thinks it was suicide), and the homicidal trio must point him in the right direction without tipping their hand. There is one last deadly, unanticipated fly in theointment, however—a real-life killer in their midst; one who has decided our three heroes know too much."