The first few days are fun. Julia chats with her twelve fellow travelers and admires the pristine beauty of Iceland. But things go downhill when Lydia Cumberland, a member of the group, disappears in a sudden ash storm and turns up dead on a glacier. Her body is transported to Reykjavik for an autopsy and the tour continues, but now there are ugly rumblings. One of the passengers, who is a bit batty and spends her time talking to the hidden people and trolls, says the dead woman was murdered—most likely by a troll wife.
Suddenly they all suspect each other, and strange things begin to happen, mostly to Julia. When she almost drowns in a swimming hole and is nearly roasted alive in a locked bathroom, she decides to find the murderer before she, too, goes home in a wooden box. As she delves into the lives of her fellow travelers, she discovers some of them aren’t really strangers and all have a motive for killing the unfortunate Mrs. Cumberland.