Johnnie Slade harbours an obsessive love for fine glass objects, so his interest is piqued when he sees photographs of the fabulous Verzelini tazza in a magazine. He follows its trail and finds that someone may already have committed murder to get their hands on it. If, indeed, it ever existed. And what is the relevance of the entry in the dead man's diary that reads 'Dunstreet'?
Johnnie finds out what it means - and he also finds Claudia. But his pursuit of both the tazza and the girl are complicated not only by Claudia's blind and autocratic Aunt Elizabeth, but also by the dawning realisation that he is not alone in his quest. And death, of course, is just around the corner.