Miss Danforth risks her life to rescue the heir of a sugar fortune from a fate worse than deathbanishment to the leper colony on Molokai.
Accompanied as always by her companion and confidante, Maude Cunningham, and her major domo, Kinkade, Miss Abigail Patience Danforth was putting an end to what she saw as yet another attempt by Maude to act as matchmaker as they sat on their balcony at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Oahu. But for once, Maude was not thinking of romance. She suspected that someone was poisoning the rightful heir to a sugar fortune, Matthew Tarkington, in a most diabolical way by making it appear that he had the symptoms of the beginning of leprosy-the mere suspicion of which would be cause enough to have him banished to the hell-on-earth that was the leper colony on Molokai. But just as Miss Danforth finally agrees to look into the matter, the household is struck by disaster.
The body of Princess Lilliana, a cousin of deposed Hawaiian royalty, is discovered, and Kinkade, normally the most sedate and sensible of men, confesses to the murder, and it is against his will that Miss Danforth must prove his innocence. In spite of the danger to herself, Miss Danforth not only uncovers the real murderer of the princess, she exposes the plot to banish Matthew. In doing so, many of the secrets of Hawaii's elite are exposed to an unmerciful tropical sun.