It's another fine mess for Lois Meade and her long-suffering husband Derek. When elderly neighbors begin to disappear and faithful pets are slaughtered, Lois calls upon her old ally Chief Inspector Hunter Cowgillmuch to Derek's distress.
The cleaning service New Brooms has involved its owner in solving several crimes (Fear on Friday, 2005, etc.), but her latest entanglement is the nastiest and most dangerous of all. Lois Meade takes an instant dislike to Reg Abthorpe when he asks her to clean his Uncle Herbert Everitt's house. Herbert and his dog are gone, but it's not clear where to. Lois can't help but sleuth about and pick up bits of information from her staff. Those who show interest in the emerging puzzle start getting warnings in the form of dead animals left on their doorsteps. Meanwhile, Lois learns that the cruel practice of badger-baiting is going on in the woods of the Cox farm. When the reclusive William Cox goes missing and his faithful dog Rosie is found tortured, Lois forges ahead in her investigation. Her police contact, Chief Inspector Cowgill, listens but doesn't seem unduly interested in the disappearances. With more threats and a kidnap attempt, Lois soldiers on, to the dismay of her husband Derek, who abhors both her involvement with crime-solving and her friendship with Cowgill. By visiting her customers and picking the brains of her staff, Lois pieces together a story of past wrongs that have led to some highly disagreeable developments in the present. A real page-turner, with an ending that fails to live up to its exciting premise.