The Dashkova Ballet Company – a visiting Russian troupe led by Inspector Gautier’s charming Soviet mistress, Princess Sophia – is about to become the toast of Paris when the famous Judge Prudhomme is found with a bullet in his heart in a squalid hotel room. And when the corpse of the beautiful prima ballerina Nicola Stepanova turns up equally cold, the company’s once sparkling future pales considerably.

Gautier has to solve the murders to save the troupe and salvage his great romance – all of which he undertakes with his customary élan, éclat and joie de vivre.