In this third installment of Block's popular series, Chip Harrison is settling in as assistant to detective Leo Haig. Cases are scarce for the pair because Leo will accept only those befitting a would-be world-renowned sleuth. An unfortunate turn of events gives them just such a scenario when Chip discovers the still-warm body of his girlfriend, Melanie Trelawney. The New York police are only too willing to accept overdose as the cause of death, but Chip and Leo are suspicious, especially considering the previous "accidental" deaths of two of Melanie's four sisters. Determined to protect the remaining Trelawney siblings, Chip and Leo work to unravel the machinations of a savvy and sinister killer.