The formidable Dame Beatrice Bradley, world-famous criminologist and psychoanalyst, is taking a rest cure on the aptly named South American island of Hombres Muertos. High in a mountain cave, guarded by bandits and popular with tourists, are the mummified remains of twenty-three dead kings sat round a stone table. When a twenty-fourth body appears in their midst, Dame Beatrice is intrigued. As she delves into the mystery, it becomes clear to her that everyone in Hombres Muertos had a motive for the murder, and dark secrets they would rather stayed hidden. But which one of them is the killer?