Wycliffe investigates the disappearance of a young girl - and becomes involved in a major criminal investigation . . .
Chief Superintendent Wycliffe doubted whether he would enjoy his Christmas. With his wife away, he rashly accepted an invitation to stay with a Penzance lawyer and his family, but when he arrives the weather is awful, the house miles from anywhere, and the family less than welcoming.
Then a young girl goes missing. Wycliffe had seen her playing the part of the Virgin in the local nativity play, but when he asks around he discovers the girl was difficult and unpopular in the neighbourhood. Even her parents seem indifferent to their daughter's disappearance. So Wycliffe instigates a search - and soon finds himself caught up in a major criminal investigation . . .