When the Begonia Festival’s head judge is found incinerated in his own glasshouse, all eyes turn to two feuding contestants.
Nick Manos and Charles Griffiths are lifelong rivals at everything, thanks to a family argument that started back in 1870. They are also fierce competitors in the flower festival. The day before the head flower judge died, Manos publicly accused him of taking bribes and threatening him. Charles Griffith also has motive. It is an event also marred by the sudden collapse of another judge, heiress Angela Waterston.
Chief Superintendent Matthew Lawson suspects it could be either of the men. The autopsy reveals how the professor was murdered however vested interests want to keep it quiet until after the festival. Lawson agrees and Dr Lucien Blake reluctantly takes Professor Ormond’s place on the judging panel.
Entrant Maria Manos thrills locals by publicly demanding pageant host, Charles Griffith, shake hands and end the family feud with her father. She then announces her engagement to Griffith’s son, Oliver. Meanwhile Dr Blake is asked to walk the terminally ill heiress, Angela, down the aisle and do the bridal waltz, to which he agrees despite loathing dancing.
Back at Dr Blake’s surgery, an airmail letter arrives from Singapore, giving him hope of finding his missing wife and daughter.
Are people really murdering over their prize winning begonias – or is there something more sinister going on?