Her new job as director of finance for Sitka's Katmai Shee Inc. canceled before she even has a chance to show up for work, Jane McBride, already smitten with the Alaskan town and resolved not to go back to Boston and the unspeakable secret she left behind there, lands a lesser job teaching economics at Holmes Barrett College and stays on with native Katmai Shee director/TV news reporter Francesca LaQuestion while she cultivates friendships with brotherly Daily Record reporter Bob Denson, psychiatrist Michael Benoit, and Holmes Barrett museum curator Daniel Greer. But somebody's already bent on driving her out of town with threatening phone messages, break-ins, and blackmail attempts -- even before the murder of gifted, retarded art student Nancy Nelson. Can Jane put together the pieces of the puzzle -- telltale clan marks on several of the museum's artifacts, the school's determination to keep an assault off the police blotter, Katmai Shee's internal battles over whether to develop a ski resort, and the whispering campaign against Jane -- in time to avenge Nancy before the killer strikes again? Newcomer Froetschel's obvious love for the Alaskan landscape and its people stakes out a wide range of issues (natives vs. whites, preservationists vs. developers, folk history vs. folk art) that get left at the altar by her undernourished plot. Even Jane's dread secret turns out to be disappointingly guilt-free.