Mr. Shaitana is a strange and wealthy collector of snuff boxes and other objets d'art. One evening he invites two specialists, Superintendent Battle of Scotland Yard and crime novelist Ariadne Oliver, to a dinner party to view his special collection: four people who have committed murder and gotten away with it.
As they play bridge after dinner, Shaitana is daringly murdered by someone at the party. Battle sets out to solve the crime aided, of course, by the eager Mrs. Oliver who begins with psychological deductions from the bridge score cards. After many red herrings, skeletons in the cupboard and two more deaths, Battle lays his cards on the table.