Archaeologist Martin Day returns to Naxos after filming in the Peloponnese. The Naxos Literary Festival has begun. The renowned novelist Ricky Somerset is attending it, accompanied by Ben Lear, whom Day has not seen in years.
Long ago, as teenagers, Day and Ben were thrown together when Day's widowed father began a relationship with Ben's mother. It was a difficult time, leaving Day with something on his conscience. Now would seem the perfect opportunity to put things right, but this becomes impossible when Ricky is found dead and Day is the one who finds him.
Curiously, a small bronze figurine of great antiquity turns up in the ruined Venetian castle where Ricky died. Neither Ricky nor the figurine should have been anywhere near the crumbling Di Quercia Tower. This is a puzzle that Day cannot leave to the authorities, especially when the wrong person is arrested.
To make things more complicated, Day has become the object of an attractive woman's attention. The time may have arrived for him to sort out his personal life as well as everything else.