This book reminded me very much of the old Mary Stewart gothic mysteries. Laura Brannan is all alone in the world with the exception of a sister that she's never been close to. When the sister invites her to become partners with her running a country inn in the desolate area in the Outer Banks of North Carolina she agrees. However when she arrives the sister has disappeared. Seth, the man that Kathryn was to meet the day of Laura's arrival, insists that she not investigate the disappearance and then begins to court Laura. And there is Nick seductive rich loner with a sail boat. He seems to have it in for Kathryn but keeps coming around at unusual times. Laura senses something sinister is going on and knows that both Seth and Nick have secrets they aren't sharing with her. Then sinister things that speak of an evil mind begin happening at the inn. When Laura's body is found it is evident that she is murdered.
Actually, I like this book just as much as Dianne Day's later books about Freemont Jones. The Freemont Jones books are well written and well researched as this one is but this one is very different. The Jones books have an element of fun in them while this one is darker and more gothic. This one does have a mystical element with the dolphins and how they called to Laura--you'll have to read it.