A craft centre in the old mill at Morton Fendle is losing money. Several locals have invested in the business and believe they have been swindled by Alan Hollingsworth, the man behind it. When Hollingsworth's glamorous wife Simone goes missing, Barnaby believes she has been kidnapped and puts Hollingsworth under observation. However, Hollingsworth evades the police, carrying a bundle of cash, and a woman neighbour who follows him to his rendez-vous is killed in a bizarre road accident. Then Hollingsworth is found dead, and Simone turns up alive. Barnaby guesses she and a friend faked the kidnapping, but he can't prove it.