The setting for this novel is the coronation of King George VI in London on 12 May 1937. There is much excitement in the city as people plan how they will observe this momentous day. Red, white and blue decorations adorn the city streets and buildings. People line the streets to watch the rehearsal of the royal street procession. Josephine Tey is in London as she has tickets to watch the actual parade with friends. At the same time the BBC has decided to produce her stage play, Queen of Scots, as a radio drama so she attends the first rehearsal to see how how play has been adapted. The BBC occupies an impressive new building but the politics of the nation's broadcaster are about to be revealed when one of its best known broadcasters is murdered after commentating on the parade. Josephine's friend, Archie Penrose, who is involved in ensuring that security arrangements, including crowd control, run smoothly is called in to investigate the murder.
This is a crime novel with many twists and turns in the plot to keep the reader guessing. It is also a story of several relationships. The portrayal of the coronation and its affects on the population of London plus description of the early days of radio broadcasting provides an impressive backdrop for this novel of 1930s London.