Bridget Cross has come to one of those rough spots. Her husband Kip, Mr. Creative Genius of Pandora Software, is resisting her efforts to take Pandora public even though he gave her control of the company; now she's found out that he's been sleeping with her onetime secretary, Toni Burton; and as she ponders divorce proceedings, she's worried that somebody's been following her. No wonder her friend Alexa Platt tells her that Kip might kill her. But then, in the first of many surprises, it's Alexa who gets killed, attacked shortly after her warning to Bridget. It's only afterwards that Bridget gets shot down in front of her daughter Brianna, five, who identifies the killer as Slade Slayer, the cartoon hero of Pandora's breakthrough game. Bridget's troubles, at least, are over; but when investment counselor Iris Thorne learns that Bridget's left her shares of Pandora in trust to Briarma, and named Iris as the trustee deputized with tossing rapacious corporate raider T. Duke Sawyer out of Pandora's tent as she shepherds Pandora's initial public offering to market, Iris realizes that her own troubles are just beginning. Pugh's fourth (Fast Friends, 1997, etc.) juggles computer gamesmanship, securities fraud, and murder most foul, seasoning the mix with her trademark office plotting, to come up with another winner that makes all manner of skullduggery look as natural as vanity and greed.