The luxurious Rittenhouse Manor is aflurry with preparations for the most important social event of the season. The doyenne of New York society, Mrs. Rittenhouse is throwing a lavish weekend party in honor of Captain Jeffrey T. Spaulding, famed African explorer. In honor of Spaulding, she has arranged to unveil the priceless Beaugard painting “After the Hunt,” on loan to her for the occasion by Roscoe W. Chandler, well-known art collector and businessman.
The guest list for the soiree includes Mrs. Rittenhouse’s daughter Arabella, who she is eager to marry off to Wally Winston, eligible bachelor and society columnist covering the party; her Long Island neighbors—and society rivals— Mrs. Whitehead and her sister Grace; Monsieur Doucet, Chandler’s personal art dealer; and the young lovers John Parker, a struggling painter himself, and Mary Stewart, a reporter.
The jealous Grace and Mrs. Whitehead are desperate to disrupt the party and enlist Hives, Mrs. Rittenhouse’s valet (and their former loyal employee), in a devious plot to undermine and disgrace Mrs. Rittenhouse. But they aren’t the only ones who are plotting. Nobody is to be trusted as Captain Spaulding endeavors to unravel the zany mystery.