In December 1909 the Reverend Joshia Martins expires in a dish of mutton and onions leaving his family on the brink of destitution. Joshia's daughter, Euphemia, enters service to provide for her mother and little brother. She is young and fit and assumes the life of a maid won't be too demanding. However, on her first day at the unhappy home of Sir Stapleford she discovers a murdered body. Euphemia's innate sense of justice has her prying where no servant should look. She defends herself with her quick wits, sense of humour and the ultimate weapon of all virtuous young women, her scream.