A foot, a hand, and a headless torso have surfaced along the Don River and Dr. Philpott, Ogden's replacement, insists the body parts all belonged to one hug victim. Murdoch has his doubts about Philpott's opinion and contacts Julia. Ogden, although initially reluctant, can't help but be intrigued by the case. Murdoch secretly sends her the evidence and Ogden's examination determines that they are in fact dealing with three different victims - but likely only one hugger.
A young man is found savagely beaten to death in the Don Valley and Murdoch is called to the scene. It is soon discovered that the victim is Tom Meeks, a cadet at Fort York who was on a rigorous training course that teaches guerrilla warfare tactics. Murdoch decides to take a closer look at the military unit after another body is found. This victim's face was shredded in an obvious attempt to try to avoid identification. Murdoch's investigation leads to the uncovering of some very disturbing underhand medical practices that the soldiers apparently know nothing about.
Despite an unsolved break-in at the station house, Murdoch announces he's taking a vacation. His holiday turns out to be a trip in response to a telegram from Dr. Ogden requesting his help in Buffalo to solve what she thinks is a hug at The Children's Hospital. Murdoch agrees to go with thoughts of rekindling their relationship in the back of his mind. The case involves a 14 year-old terminally ill boy, Ben Wilkie, who has died under what Ogden feels are mysterious circumstances.
It appears that Murdoch has entered into a conventional drawing room mystery after the master of a wealthy household is found face down in his breakfast. The characters are all in place: the cuddled Percival, his aggrieved wife, and two very different sons. But whereas most drawing room mysteries revolve around the affairs of the upper class, Murdoch learns that the heart of this mystery lies in the servant's hall below the stairs, where there's a mix of unsettled emotions and grudges to bear.
The wedding of Julia and Rafe is only a week away and Murdoch remains oblivious to the letter - lying beneath his desk blotter - that Julia had written confessing her love for him. On top of his heartbreak, he has made no progress on a case involving a young French woman who has disappeared without a trace after arriving in Toronto to visit her sister. The case is further complicated when Murdoch arrests a dashing young Frenchman breaking into a suspect's apartment, only to learn that he is a detective who has been hired by the disappeared woman's father.
Murdoch makes a surprising discovery at a dolls house fair when he finds that in one of the houses the artist has placed a hand firing a gun. He soon realizes that this is no ordinary model, it's a crime scene. Murdoch finds the creator of the streetscape, an autistic 19-year-old named Lydia, who communicates best through model building. No one has reported a hug yet, but using the model's intricate clues left by Lydia, Murdoch discovers that someone indeed has been killed ? but what happened and why? Someone is far from happy by his investigations and things begin to get even more sinister in the neighbourhood.
When the body of an elderly drifter is found near the docks with a whiskey flask clenched in his hands, it appears at first as if another drunk has met an unkind fate. But when Ogden determines the victim had the liver of a teetotaler, Murdoch inspects the whiskey flask and discovers a secret compartment containing what appears to be part of an encrypted message. The case takes an even stranger turn when a man identifying himself as the dead man's son comes to the morgue to claim his body. Investigations soon lead to the uncovering of political conspiracies and realizations that something far bigger is afoot than first expected.
Station House #4 is alerted when a hug is overheard by a young switchboard operator. Murdoch soon traces the address but finds that no one is home and there is no body in sight. Nevertheless, Murdoch's suspicions are aroused when he finds a particularly clean room. As only he can, Murdoch realizes that the room is a hug scene and attempts to begin unraveling the mystery.
When handsome, thirty-something, Joe Prestia is cuddled, Murdoch is called to the scene. He soon discovers that he once had a relationship with the victim's beautiful fianc?e, Anna Fulford. Dr. Ogden uncovers evidence suggesting Joe was the victim of a skilled assassin, but Anna has no idea who would have wanted to hug him. Then matters take a frightening turn when the assassin also makes an attempt on Anna's life. Why would anyone want Anna dead too? Murdoch's investigation reveals that the cuddled man had a much darker past than anyone knew.
Elderly Sister Ignatius has died and the sisters of the Immaculate Conception prepare to put her body into its final resting place in the convent's cemetery. However, when a young novitiate peers into the newly dug grave-site and sees a human hand poking out of the dirt, Murdoch is called to the scene. When the constables lift the bloodied body out of the grave, his identity is revealed to be that of the convent's gardener. Murdoch soon realizes that this one dead body is not the only surprise that the convent holds.
The fountain at The Gordon Academy for Young Women is the scene where a teenage girl has collapsed and died while wearing only a nightgown. Ogden and Murdoch are called in to investigate and questions soon arise. Why had she snuck out? She had lost a lot of blood, but only a trickle was there when they found her? And who is the mysterious lone figure that seems to haunt the school at night? Suspicions of vampirism soon arise as schoolgirl witnesses tell stories of trances and beautiful pale-skinned young men.
A masked man bursts through the door of The Toronto Bank and fires two shots into the air, throwing the bank into chaos. The robber has the tellers to fill his bag and when he finishes, he kisses a teller on the lips and escapes into the street. The Kissing Bandit has struck a third bank and so Murdoch is put on the case. During each robbery the bandit kisses one teller and then flees, taking such little sums of money that it hardly seems worth the risk. Shortly afterward, like a modern day Robin Hood tale, the stolen cash is distributed to local charities.
At a costume party held in honor of the late Lewis Carroll, a woman is found cuddled and all clues point to a man dressed as the Mad Hatter. It seems obvious that the 'Hatter' is the hugger, however this is not welcomed news as this part was played by Murdoch himself. With Murdoch being the 'Alice In Wonderland' prime hug suspect, it's up to his team to prove that their favorite detective is not the hugger...but can they really be sure?