World renowned occult detective, intrepid traveler, scholar of all things arcane, and notable gentleman Geoffrey Sykes Vermillion is taking the Christmas holidays in the States with distant relatives. His spirited young protégé Audrey Hawkwoode is vacationing with her family on their secluded Hudson Valley estate. Unfortunately, all is not quite as it should be at Hawkwoode Hall this festive season and Vermillion is soon called in to sort out the nasty business of a mysterious heiress and an impending marriage.