Judith Flynn and her cousin Renie have arranged to share a room at Seattle's Good Cheer Hospital while recuperating from hip replacement (Judith) and shoulder surgery (Renie). Unfortunately, it's a bad time to be in Good Cheer, since the hospital is experiencing a rash of unexpected deaths. Ace Seafarer pitcher Joaquin Somosa is the first to take early retirement, soon followed by local actress Joan Fremont, and then Bob Randall, ex-quarterback for the Auks, who vacates the room next to the cousins shortly after a routine procedure. While Renie complains nonstop about hospital food and service, Judith, used to puzzling over murders (Snow Place to Die,
1999, etc.), begins interrogating the nurses, the orderlies, hospital head Dr. Van Boeck and his councilwoman wife Blanche, and Randall's not-so-grieving widow, his twin brother, and his kids, another set of twins. She ponders the meaning of one patient's disappearing limp and mulls over the hospital's possible takeover by Restoration Heartware of Cleveland. Meanwhile, Judith's ex-homicide cop hubby Joe, who ought to be busy managing their B&B—which has been filled to bursting by a snowstorm that's stranded unwary tourists—finds time to get himself stabbed while digging into still another string of murders, this time of homeless men. After what seems like the world's longest winter, the snow melts, Renie stops complaining, Judith explains everything, and the B&B goes on.
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