Clara Gamadge's latest adventure finds the white-haired sleuth in the hospital, at Christmas of all times, a victim of a bad hors d'oevre consumed at the opening of a friend's new mystery book shop, Pushing Murder, in Greenwich Village. A poisoning attempt at the hospital, however, convinces Clara and her family that the mishap at the party was no accident, but attempted murder! Who could possibly want to kill Clara, and why? She hasn't been involved in anycases for quite some time, so the murder attempts must mean she's been drawn into a new case without her knowledge. She suspects that someone will need her services in the near future.
Sure enough, an old friend suddenly appears on the scene seeking Clara's help, and a web of ancient deceptions and green ensnares both women, involving them in a deadly game of extortion and murder.
As Clara's family, including her charming yet irascible cousin Sadd, rallies to protect both women, Clara directs the investigation from her hospital bed. To her sorrow, however, she finds that the spirit of Christmas is proof against only the chill and is not strong enough to protect them all from the malice of one ambitions man.