Entertainment critic and film noir author Carroll Quint gets a panicky call from his mother, former movie starlet Karen Kaas. Vicky Vandamn, a roommate of Karen's some thirty years ago when they worked at Talbot Studios, disappeared from Hollywood under mysterious circumstances. Now she's been found dead on her houseboat in nearby Sausalito, a reported suicide victim. Quint's mother is certain that Vicky, who was involved with a rough Hollywood crowd, was murdered. Quint soon finds himself tangled up with lazy cops, a paranoid PI, a billionaire former movie-studio head, and a Peeping Tom - who kept a very close eye on Vandamn. When all appears to be lost, Quint's mother comes up with a revealing old still photo and a clue involving Fed Astaire's hands that set Quint on a collision course with the murderer.
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