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Detective Murdoch investigates the death of Oliver Hoyle who is found in the billiard room of his posh club. Hoyle was part of a group of competitive puzzle solvers and he may have been killed after solving a puzzle published by Edgar Allen Poe many years ago. It appears that one of his competitors killed him to get the glory for himself. Meanwhile, Julia visits her father Lionel but arrives only to learn that her father has died. His physician, Dr. Bradley, believes he died of heart failure sometime in the night. Julia is confused, particularly when Dr. Bradley refuses to undertake an autopsy. Murdoch soon joins her and initially doubts that anything illegal has happened. He reconsiders when he learns that Julia has found a needle mark in her father's neck and a new neighbor is the beneficiary in his will.