Stolen ancient Byzantine coins - a goat, a dead landlady, and maurading Englishwomen. What else can go wrong? In Edinburgh - plenty.
Mrs. Maginnes is murdered - thrown off a cliff near Edinburgh.
She leaves behind a million pounds' worth of hidden Byzantine gold, a rampaging goat, and a student tenant just arrived from Portugal.
Socorro, the bewildered tenant, finds refuge with the five, recently goat-bequeathed Aspenall sisters. They, and an overwhelmingly large number of their neighbours, set out to find the gold, encountering along the way a plethora of irate neigbours, a Valorous detective, Queen Nimnu Ninsikilla, Pouty, Cheeks, a false passport ring, communist militants, a gypsy fortune teller, Shakespeare (in reference), true love, and a purple and pink plaid couch.