Attending a birthday celebration for two young girls, Bea Abbot tries not to let superstition get the better of her when she realises they are 13 at dinner. What she doesn't anticipate is that the evening will end in sudden, violent death. Suddenly a dining room curtain goes up in flames. While two members of the host family are rushed to hospital, Bea and a fellow guest search for the birthday girls in a house which has been plunged into darkness. Could the fire have been started deliberately – and were young Bernice and Alicia the intended targets? As Bea investigates, she finds herself drawn into the girls' troubling world: a world rich in money, but lacking in love.