Widowed van driver Bob Naylor is prodded into joining the Chichester Writers' Circle by his teenage daughter. Bob writes limericks and jingles, and fears he will be out of his class among the literati. But the members of the circle come from all walks of life and practice many forms of writing, from fantasy to household hints. There seems to be nothing about any of them to incite a serial killer. However, there is an arsonist in their midst, burning his victims to death, and Bob becomes a suspect. To clear himself, he must cooperate with formidable Detective Chief Inspector Henrietta Mallin.