While traveling on a train to London, Miss Marple is told by a woman she has never met, Lavinia Pinkerton, that she is certain there have been two murders in her village of Wychwood. When Lavinia dies in what is purported to be an accident - she fell, or was pushed, down the escalator in a tube station - Miss Marple decides to visit Wychwood and see what she can find. As Miss Marple is apt to say, one English village is like another and Wychwood has its secrets like any other. The first woman to die was Florie Gibbs who, despite being experienced in such things, supposedly ate poison mushrooms she picked herself. The second was the local vicar who failed to wear his mask when using poison near his beehives. The third is a young woman who, it is said, accidentally drank hat dye instead of her cough medicine. Miss Marple finds a clue that points to a motive with origins many years before and a secret someone will do anything, including murder, to keep hidden.