Another chapter in the adventurous life of young widow Kate Mulcay, reporter-sleuth for an Atlanta newspaper (Straight as an Arrow, etc.). Here, Kate is intrigued by charismatic young State Representative Return Pickett, a Native American who's pressing a Cherokee land claim on the Tennessee border. Kate drives to his hometown of Rising Fawn, with her neighbor's preteen daughters Sheena and Kim Sue Gandy in tow, to find out more about this cause. But Pickett fails to show for their appointment--and Kate discovers his mobile home empty and awash in blood. Local experts and visiting cave explorers mount a search of the Tricky Terrain for the missing man while Kate meets Addie Armentrout, deranged owner of the only vacant motel rooms in miles, whose actions drive her to accept the hospitality of Pickett's girlfriend Edie Putnam. Meanwhile, Representatives Motley Banks and Trent Goodman arrive to spur the search--and soon Banks has disappeared too. Before it's all over, the Gandy girls have been rescued from a rock fall; Kate has climbed down a well to rescue local bigwig Paw Paw Merritt; and there's been a second murder. Motivation and culprit are briskly disposed of in the last pages of this Nancy Drew meets Sheena, Jungle Queen episode-- frisky, amiable, and weightless.