Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau is dead. At least that is what the world (and Charles Dreyfus) believe when a dead body is discovered in Clouseau's car after being shot off the road. Naturally, Clouseau knows differently, and taking advantage of not being alive, sets out to discover why an attempt was made on his life.
Inspector Clouseau disappears, and the Surete wants the world's second best detective to look for him. However, Clouseau's enemy, Dreyfus, rigs the Surete's computer to select, instead, the world's WORST detective, NYPD Sgt. Clifton Sleigh. Sleigh obtusely bungles his way past assassins and corrupt officials as though he were Clouseau's American cousin.
Count Contini masterminds the theft of $1 billion in U.S. gold being transported in Europe. This will cause gyrations in the world's financial markets, and Contini will profit from it. ICE chief MacDonald summons Matt Helm, "busy" photographing women models. MacDonald, in effect, makes Matt a Judas Goat, exposing his cover and encouraging Contini to make a move against Matt. The ICE agent will deal with Contini's former lover, current lover, a British woman agent, and Contini's lovely Asian operative before the final showdown with the Count.
When four geologists who form a combine of five industrial turn up dead, the race is on to determine whether the culprit is a group of high-powered industrial interests or the government. A trouble-shooter is hired to find a net of deadly intrigue and treachery. The prize: a field to be leased to private industry by the state.