Following her marriage break-up, radio producer and hapless amateur sleuth Veronica Pilchard moves to Wild Fern Alley behind the university in Belfast. Her only friends are Lady Margaret Beightin and some of the gay scene in the Golden Palace.
Veronica discovers a young Italian imprisoned in the basement of an obnoxious professor’s house next door. When the professor’s body is found there, the police launch a murder investigation but have no leads. She and Margaret uncover an art fraud and lead the Fraud Squad to the loathsome Sir John Colliers.
Despite her chaotic life, and feuding with BBC Head of Programmes, her Barry Doyle show wins a major award.
Assisted by DI Jack Summers and the young Italian, she helps solve the murder case. Eventually, her secret lover’s identity is revealed in front of the media, delighting the residents of Wild Fern Alley.