It's a rainy day in Dalton (a New England town near Boston) and Leonidas Witherall, "the man who looks like Shakespeare", is off to Haymaker's Department Store to retrieve his umbrella at the Lost and Found. When he enters the Lost and Found department, he's knocked unconscious and awakens in a horse-drawn bakery cart filled with French bread. While answering a call for his services as an air raid warden, he decides to call on Mr. Haymaker himself to complain, only to find Haymaker stabbed with a samurai sword. He enlists the assistance of Constance "Pink" Lately, a housewife clutching a Lady Baltimore cake, Jinx the red-headed Haymaker's elevator girl, and many of the participants in a "Victory Swap Meet" to track down an embezzler, a code thief and a murderer.
The adventures of Leonidas Witherall were a short-lived radio series at about the time of this novel. In the novels, Witherall is also the author of a radio series and novels about the adventures of stalwart Lieutenant Hazeltine. Some supporting characters continue between novels; there is always a beautiful girl, a handsome former student, and an intrepid housewife.