There are several mysteries going on. First, Elvira, who is Bess Chedwick’s daughter, is trying to find out something. First, helped by her friend Bridget, she travels to Ireland where apparently she has discovered something. Then she goes to see one of her trustees, and he tells her that when she turns twenty-one, she will inherit quite a lot of money. Elvira is also interested in learning what will happen to the money if she dies, and the lawyer tells her that it will go to her next of kin. So if she happens to be married, it will go to her husband; otherwise, her mother will inherit. What we also learn is that Bess left her two-year-old daughter when she eloped with her lover. So Elvira doesn’t know her mother, and Bess is reluctant to meet her as she thinks that Elvira is much better off without her. I wonder what Elvira is planning. What did she discover in Ireland? And why is she so eager to learn about what will happen in the event of her death?
Then Scotland Yard is after a gang which has been involved in several crimes, but the police only have information about the minions, and they want to get to the ringleader. Then they realise that all the robberies have a connection with Bertram’s Hotel. Then the payrolls that were being transported on a train are stolen by the gang.
Another character who seems to be important is Canon Pennyfather. The man is quite absent-minded and often forgets things. The canon is staying at the hotel and is supposed to travel to Lucerne for a conference. However, when he thinks he is supposed to travel, he is told that his plane ticket was for the previous day and the conference is already over. So he decides to return to the hotel, but then it seems that he is whacked on the head, and that is the last thing we know about him. His housekeeper expects his return, but she doesn’t seem concerned when he doesn’t turn up because she knows this is a normal occurrence. Yet, when the canon is still absent on the third day, she gets worried and calls the hotel, but the receptionist tells her that they were expecting the canon but he hasn’t shown up after he supposedly left for Lucerne and his things are still there. When another clergyman, Archdeacon Simmons, comes tot he house as he was supposed to spend a few days with the canon, the housekeeper, Mrs McRae, tells him about her worries about her employer, and the man starts to make enquiries. All he finds out is that Canon Pennyfather made a mistake with the dates of the conference, and the last time someone talked to him was when he had dinner at the Atheneum. I wonder what has happened to the poor man. Who hit him? And why has nobody noticed anything untoward?