A bungled hand-off lands St. Ives in jail on suspicion of murder.
It's three in the morning, and Philip St. Ives has come to the all-night Laundromat to meet a thief. His laundry bag isn't carrying dirty clothing — it's stuffed with $90,000 cash. But he finds his contact, Bobby Boykins, in no state to talk. Bobby has been beaten, strangled, and stuffed behind a washing machine; Philip is inspecting the corpse when the police find him. Standing in a Laundromat with a dead body and a sack full of cash, Philip learns, is a good way to get arrested.
St. Ives is a go-between — a mediator between thieves and their victims — and he came to meet Bobby for the sake of a rich man who has lost his diary. If Philip can escape the Tenth Precinct, Bobby's killer will come for him next.