On a dull and dreary October day, Lori Shepherd and her husband set off for a quiet weekend without the kids. But before they go, he must pay a visit to a reclusive client. After Lori drops him off, a storm that's been brewing intensifies, and she ends up stranded in an ancient, rambling inn named for a king's ransom in smuggled goods that passed through the village in ages past. When Lori begins hearing footsteps and strange noises, Aunt Dimity reminds her that the inn is almost certainly haunted but that not all ghosts are interested in harming the living. But the longer Lori is stuck at the inn, the stranger things seem. Are the noises she hears the spirits of smuggling's past? Or should Lori be more concerned with the living inhabitants of the inn, like the hulking, grizzled cook, an ex-con who seems to be everywhere at once? Joining forces with her new friend Bishop Smallwood, Lori sets out to discover once and for all who—or what—is haunting the King's Ransom.