Madeline Dare, a tough-talking, shotgun-toting ex-debutante, is not your average detective. Then again, not much about her life is what she expected. Born of old money into high society, she married into a Syracuse farming family and a bottom-of-the-food-chain job writing puff pieces for the local newspaper. Her emotional barometer these days ranges from dry irony to whining exasperation. Then Madeline discovers mysterious circumstances linking her favorite cousin to a twenty-year-old murder case, and suddenly her roots are a serious matter again--deadly serious. Unwilling to turn her evidence over to the authorities before figuring some things out herself, she will embark on an ill-prepared and harrowing investigation into the real dark side of her world.