Drew Farthering wants nothing more than to finish out the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement to Madeline Parker. Instead, he finds himself in the middle of another murder case. The family lawyer has been killed, a cryptic message stuck to the body with an antique hatpin. Drew is content to leave solving this one to the police, but when the dead man’s widow asks for his assistance, he can’t help but be pulled in.
Life at home is just as troubling. Madeline still hasn’t decided whether she will accept his proposal of marriage, and worse, her formidable maiden aunt, Ruth Jansen, appears at Farthering Place with the sole objective of convincing Madeline to return to America.
When a second murder occurs, and another baffling message secured with a hatpin is found at the scene, the village of Farthering St. John is thrown into a tizzy. And it seems Drew and Madeline and their friend, Nick Dennison, are the ones who will have to crack the case before the Hatpin Murderer strikes again.