A puzzler-style mystery featuring the author and sleuth Rintaro Norizuki and his father, Inspector Norizuki. Avant-garde sculptor Isaku Kawashima dies from stomach cancer at 54. He has just completed a plaster figure entitled "Mother and Child" by body-casting his only daughter Echika, age 20. Immediately after his death, the head is stolen from the sculpture, and Isaku's younger brother asks Norizuki to investigate. Then, a week after the funeral, Echika goes missing, and a few days later her severed head is delivered by courier to art critic Usami, curator of an Isaku retrospective. The prime suspect is Echika's former boyfriend Domoto, a photographer who repeatedly stalked Echika after their breakup, but he is nowhere to be found. Echika had not seen her mother Ritsuko since she was a little girl, when Isaku divorced her; after the divorce, Ritsuko remarried a dentist named Kagami, previously married to her younger sister Yuko until she committed suicide 16 years ago. Norizuki learns that Yuko was pregnant at the time of her death. The investigation bogs down with the head of Isaku's valedictory sculpture and the rest of Echika's body still missing. Who could have stolen the head and killed Echika, and with what motive? The author is in top form as he moves the numerous game pieces with a steady hand toward a climactic finale.