Norda Allison realises that she is marrying the wrong man, when she saw him slapping his son for interrupting their conversation. She is terrified and calls off the wedding, only to earn his wrath. She starts receiving anonymous clippings in her mail, of stories in which suitors killed their former fiancees.
A few days later, Mervin slaps Norda's boyfriend Nate Benedict, and claims it to be self defense. Mervin's previous wife, Lorraine Selkirk Jennings, tries to warn Norda against him and arranges for Norda to spend a night at her house. When Norda meets her, Lorraine tries to cover up the absence of her son. However, Norda hears a barking dog followed by a gun shot, while she is staying with Lorraine, and rushes to Perry Mason, the lawyer for help.
The next morning, Melvin Selkirk is found dead in his car, and the murder weapon is found below Norda's pillow at Lorraine's house. Norda is arrested and new facts surprise both parties in the Preliminary hearing. Perry Mason's investigation, surmises, and the courtroom scenes are the highlights of the novel.
This report prepared by Ashwita