Happily ensconced in her Bedford Street brownstone, Olivia Brown is having the time of her life: writing sonnets and downing martinis, making conquests and making love. Indeed, she doubts that anything could tempt her away from her Village home until she succumbs to the lure of a house party in Croton that promises sparkling conversation, bucolic views, and plenty of free-flowing gin. Yet Olivia has barely arrived at the rustic farmhouse of Fordy and Kate Vaude, when the convivial atmosphere takes a decidedly nasty turn. Between the petty squabbles and the jarring silences, the backbiting and the broad hints of marital discord, Olivia can't shake the feeling that something is terribly wrong here. And then she finds the frozen corpse of the Vaudes' nanny, hanging from a tree. Clearly, the young woman was murdered, and yet as Olivia and her friend, private investigator Harry Melville, join forces to learn why and by whom, they uncover more questions than answers. And when it turns out that the mysterious nanny was not whom she pretended to be, Olivia finds herself rushing headlong into a mystery that will take her from the swank and sophisticated Yale Club to the smoke-filled lair of a bootlegger and into the menacing clutches of the gang known as the Black Hand. The deeper Olivia probes, the darker the threats. Surrounded by bold-faced danger and ominous smiles, she can't help but wonder: Is the murderer one of the thugs - or one of her friends?
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