Under the pseudonym S.S. Van Dine, Wright has booked passage on what would be the luxury liner s disastrous final crossing. He claims to be interviewing celebrity passengers, but the reporter is actually investigating rumors that the ship is ferrying an illegal cache of weapons to aid the British war against Germany. His investigation is put on hold when three German stowaways are discovered and then in an unexpected and violent twist killed. Wright, also the writer of mystery vels, joins forces with lovely, uber-competent Detective Philomina Vance to solve the crime. With threats of a torpedo attack hanging over the ship, the pair races to unmask the murderer and derail a conspiracy to take down the Lusitania.