Lovejoy gets dragged into a sinister plot concerning Mussolini's nose and the burial at sea of Captain Bucknall (Jane's old house-keeper's brother). He is given the job of selling the late Captain's medals, and there is a smart fashion photographer who wants them, but then some drunken sailors come into the picture and he has to deal with the gun-toting Angelo Pantaloni...
In a remote area of Dartmoor, Silver Blaze, Colonel Ross's famous and valuable racehorse, goes missing, and the dead body of John Straker, the colonel's trainer, is found nearby. The Police seem bewildered, but then they charge Fitzroy Stephen, a well-known figure in the racing world, with the murder. Holmes is called in to trace the missing horse and finds he has to separate fact from fiction. Who is the real villain?