Why would somebody call in Kate Kinsella's Medical and Nursing Investigations for a case that has nothing to do with medicine or nursing? Before she can wonder why she's been lucky enough to land sick old Elizabeth Forrester as a client, Kate's off to the Isle of Wight to find out why Aunt Lizzie's nephew, Nigel Carter, is AWOL from his co-ownership of the Uplands Lodge Hotel. Passing herself off as a potential buyer for Uplands Lodge, Kate allows non-missing Stewart Michaelson to gossip about his partner as he discreetly romances her. But when Caroline Uxton, an acquaintance from the ferry over, suggests breaking into Nigel's cabin to go through his papers together, things go rapidly awry. Kate, tiring, leaves Caroline still toiling away at the scene of the crime; when she returns the next morning, Caroline's still there, and would remain there forever if it weren't for the undertaker; and the stolid Isle of Wight coppers aren't impressed by Kate's bleats of innocence. In order to clear herself, she'll have to get to the bottom of a con game that stretches back more than ten years--and dope out exactly which of the available candidates is really the father of demure Caroline's son. Synthetic but agreeably twisty, perhaps the strongest of Kate's four cases (Deadly Practice, 1995, etc.) to date--even if the killer's not likely to fool anybody but her.