An old flame of McBride's asks him to defend her brother, a Marine, in the murder of his wife.
A talented but temperamental concert violinist is killed, and there are several suspects, including her fiancé. Roberta calls in McBride when she starts worrying that the fiancé is incriminating himself without intending to. The police chief is putting tremendous pressure on Roberta to close the case because the violinist was a celebrity, and her father is a senator. As if there aren't enough complications, there is a Stradivarius involved, which the killer took great care of. But why?