Two entwined mysteries unfold in two time periods in Singapore: one in the present, the other in the 1920s. Artist Maris Cousins has lived in Singapore for four years, but the sudden death of her mentor, gallery owner Peter Stone, causes her to stop painting and leave Singapore to reconnect with her family in Canada. There she becomes immersed in the fictional stories of love and betrayal from Singapore's past in first editions left to her by Stone, written by the famous early-20th-century author E. Sutcliffe Moresby.
Drawn back to Singapore and the gallery, she searches for answers to the mystery of three people—a writer, his young wife, and their baby—who seem to be linked to Stone. But along the way, Maris becomes caught up in circumstances involving smuggling and possibly murder.