"Death is the black camel that kneels unbidden at every gate." This is what Charlie Chan tells the guests of the unfortunate Shelah Fane, a glamorous Hollywood movie star who has been murdered while on location beach side in Honolulu. Here the detective confronts his most perplexing case of his long and illustrious career. Chan is aided by a mysterious fortune teller named Tarneverro the Great. It appears that Miss Fane had summoned Tarneverro to Honolulu as she strongly believes in his mystical powers. A number of bystanders do not have alibis in this case, and it takes every bit of Chan's considerable powers to untangle this intricate web of deception and murder.