Fran Varady would like to be an actress. Just at the moment, however, making it from day to day is a problem. She is living in a shared squat as part of the Jubilee Street Creative Commune - and they are all about to be evicted. Then one of them, a girl named Terry, is found hanged. Suicide? No, this is murder. What is Terry's background? Who was the man baglady Edna saw in a disused burial ground nearby? Fran investigates with the help of her friend, Ganesh. The trail takes them from the city to the country and back again to London. 

Fran strikes up an acquaintance with a down-and-out on Marylebone station concourse. Her new friend's name is 'Alkie' Albie Smith and once, long ago in better days, he was on the stage with a troupe of performing poodles. Fran longs to become an actress so likes to chat to Albie. But not all of Albie's stories are about his stage days. There is one about a kidnapping he claims to have witnessed.

Fran is convinced of the truth of what Albie saw, and takes the information to the police. But they are not interested. Albie is not  what is generally called a reliable witness. So Fran must investigate herself.

Fran, still hoping to become an actress, is at present helping her friend, Ganesh, look after his uncle's shop. Soon the problems pile up. A builder called in by Ganesh to update the place is wreaking havoc. A stranger bursts in demanding to use the washroom. He is later murdered and Fran discovers a roll of film hidden behind the washroom plumbing. Her friend, squat-dweller Tig, has gone missing and Tig's boyfriend is vengefully seeking Fran, believing she knows where Tig is. Worse, also seeking Fran is a man the police very much want to speak to.

 

Fran has at last a basement flat to herself, but the landlady is being pressured to sell by a pair of dodgy nephews. Life is a minefield and Fran must pick her way carefully across it.

Life is tough for aspiring actress, Fran, at the moment. She has lost her basement flat and finding somewhere else is difficult. Then private investigator Clarence "Rennie" Duke appears on the scene. Fran's mother walked out of the family home when Fran was seven years old, and Fran has heard nothing from her since. But now her mother wants to get in touch and Rennie Duke has come to tell her it's urgent.  Fran's mother is terminally ill and, before she dies, wants to make her peace with her daughter. She also has some shocking information for Fran, and a dying request. Seeking to do as her mother asks soon leads Fran into a tangled web of deception and treachery, together with very real personal danger.

Things seem to be looking up for Fran Varady. She has a new flat, a job in a pizzeria and a part in an amateur production of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Of course, Fran's ambition is still to become a full-time actress but, well, in the meantime, even an amdram role is welcome. 

 

But soon, seeking to help a young boy who appears at the back door of the pizzeria, Fran finds herself up against a ruthless gang of people traffickers. She witnesses a horrifying death. There is danger everywhere.

 

Even so, the show must go on, and there couldn't be a production of The Hound of the Baskervilles without a hound...

Fran Varady doesn't go looking for trouble but it does seem that trouble sometimes seeks her out. Now it is club owner, Mickey Allerton, who has called on her help. One of his dancers, Lisa, has run away. Mickey wants her back. He thinks she has probably gone to Oxford and her family home. It's quite straight- forward: Fran must fetch Lisa back to London. In the meantime, Mickey will keep Fran's dog, Bonnie, as a hostage. 

 

Nothing is straight-forward for Fran and finding Lisa is only the beginning. There is a body floating in the Cherwell and a very suspicious police detective with an eye on Fran. What's more, back in London, Bonnie has made her own break for freedom and is missing. Sorting all this out will take some doing.

Fran Varady, aspiring actress and part-time detective, has bumped into an old acquaintance. Edna, the baglady, who appeared in the first Fran story, Asking for Trouble, is now liviing in a hostel in Camden. Still awkward, still slightly barmy and still devious, Edna is being followed by someone. Fran senses her old friend is in danger, and seeks to find out what's going on. But helping Edna isn't easy. Moreover, digging into Edna's past brings some real surprises. Edna has spent most of her adult life avoiding her family. They thought she was dead. She doesn't want to meet them. They want rid of her. Fran, of course, is determined to protect the old lady. But that could be a dangerous task in itself. And, after so many years, so many lies and so much tragedy, what is the truth?