Granted access to the garden of a grand Tuscan villa, Adam Banting is soon captivated by this mysterious world of statues, grottoes, meandering rills and classical inscriptions. His fascination intensifies with the discovery that the grieving aristocrat who designed the garden in memory of his wife had carefully arranged the iconography to indicate both the method and motive for her murder – thus revealing himself as her killer. As one mystery unfolds, Adam stumbles upon another. The villa's present owner, ailing septuagenarian Signora Docci, has never recovered from the death of her eldest son. The night before the Allies arrived, German troops billeted in the villa embarked on a drunken rampage. Hearing gunfire on the third floor, both Signora Docci's sons went to investigate. Only one returned. Since that day the third floor has remained sealed, preserving a frozen moment in time. Now, desperate to have her suspicions confirmed or laid to rest, the old lady allows Adam to examine those rooms in the hope he will discover the truth of that night's events captured within their walls.