Joe Fischer (Karl Kranzkowski) returns from the USA after 14 years to see his daughter Jade (Joya Thome) and his ex-wife Isabella (Adriana Altaras) again. She runs a guest house in Sardinia with her friend Annabella (Hannelore Elsner). When Joe gets there, Isabella is on her way and Annabella receives him. Joe quickly falls in love with his hostess Annabella and begins an affair with her. To pass the time, Joe sets out to beautify the huge, overgrown property and create a pond. Astonished Isabella, finally back, is presented with a fait accompli. Meanwhile, there is a suicide and a murder. Police officers search the property in search of the killer. Annabella and Isabella decide to give the dead person a final resting place at the bottom of the freshly dug pond.
At first Rauchzeichen is a gorgeous love story, then an almost surprising crime thriller and in the end, a confident comedy. Under the blazing Sardinian sun, Rudolf Thome merges the genres and invents an endearingly quirky ensemble of characters.