Anne Perry constructs this unusual holiday mystery around Bram Stokerís Dracula. Christmas is just weeks away, and a theatrical troupe has been summoned to the coastal village of Whitby in Yorkshire to perform a special adaptation of the vampire tale.
You might remember that this is the fishing village where Stokerís Count Dracula arrives in England. The daughter of a local millionaire, Charles Netheridge, has written the play, and it is all but impossible to perform.
With tempers getting shorter and shorter and the weather getting nastier, it appears the play will not make it to the stage. Then a mysterious stranger arrives and takes over the directing chores. Is he a theatrical genius or something else? The production suddenly becomes strangely compelling, and a brooding evil emerges under the manís direction.
When a murder mars the rehearsals and threatens the production, it is up to one of the companyís members to play amateur sleuth. Something quite sinister seems to have taken over the inhabitants of Charles Netheridgeís lonely hilltop mansion and totally marred the festive season. The question is whether or not anything can be salvaged of what is supposed to be a special holiday treat.