When their maestro is kidnapped, an orchestra hires Jack LeVine to find him.
Jack LeVine has been in a vicious funk since his father died in 1948. But after more than a year sulking in his apartment, joylessly listening to ball games, news reports, and classical music programs on the radio, the private detective has gone back to work in his freshly renovated office. His depression has passed, but those months glued to the radio are about to come in handy.
His first client is a German violinist, who visits LeVine out of concern for his maestro, Toscanini, the famous conductor of the NBC Symphony Orchestra. The maestro's memory is slipping, his conducting style has changed, and his eyesight is suddenly better than it used to be. The violinist suspects that the conductor has disappeared and been replaced by a double. It's an outlandish suspicion, but LeVine takes the case. After all, somebody has to pay for his new office. Soon enough, LeVine finds out that organized crime is playing the tune . . .