When small-time gambler and petty crook Steinie Taylor turns up dead in a hopper of flour at a country bakery, Gently has to figure out not only how he got there, but also why his prime suspects all appear to have a dark secret to hide. Why had the deceased villain and his two friends been spending money like it was going out of fashion? Why had they strayed from their usual haunts? Why did Taylor's friends both disappear? The investigation becomes even more sinister when one of Taylor's cronies is also found dead.