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The strangled body of actress Victoria Hart is found in Windsor Great Park in the early hours of Christmas Day. Hardcastle and Marriott are sent from Scotland Yard to investigate – much to the irritation of their respective wives.

The trail leads to the Beaux Belles revue at the Windsor Empire, where a scantily clad Victoria Hart persuaded young men to enlist with the promise of a kiss. It seems the alluring actress had many admirers – some not quite as gentlemanly as others – and when the recruiting sergeant is also found dead, a link to the army can no longer be ignored . . .