An American tourist named Hugh Morris Drake is murdered in his room at Broome's Hotel in London during the night. Chief Inspector Duff of Scotland Yard investigates the crime. Duff learns that the victim was a member of the Lofton Round, The World Tour. The only clues are a hearing aid, a safe deposit box key and a bag full of small stones. All of the members of the tour are suspects including Dr. Lofton, Max Minchin, Captain Ronald Keane and John Ross. Lofton is the director of the tour. Minchin is a racketeer from Chicago. Keane is an unemployed engineer and Ross is a lumber man from Tacoma.
As the tour continues, Walter Honeywood and his wife Sybil are killed in Nice. Sergeant Welby of Scotland Yard is accompanying the tour and continuing the investigation. He is murdered on the docks of Yokohama. Chief Inspector Duff travels to Honolulu to join the tour. While visiting Charlie Chan, Duff is shot in the back and hospitalized. Charlie gets permission to fill in for his friend on the final leg of the trip to San Francisco. Charlie is on a mission to save face since Duff was shot in his office. The reader knows that the killer may as well surrender now as Charlie begins to demonstrate the Chan trademarks of patience, hard work and perseverance.
This report prepared by Peter Kenney