It's Christmas Week 1996 in Hong Kong, but Claire Raymond's biggest worries have nothing to do with the impending reversion to Chinese rule. The veteran correspondent for Business World has taken maternity leave to take care of the baby that's surprised her Swiss lover Xavier as much as her. Not even the inconvenient visit of exquisite photographer Fabienne Jaccard, an old flame of Xavier's who thinks she's still new, can compete with Claire's anxiety about little Caspar. When her friend and neighbor Vicky Sandford's epileptic son Petey is found dead along nearby Tregunter Path, Claire clutches Caspar more tightly, and when a second boy, Giles and Lily Franklin's son Leo, is stolen from his own crib, her apprehension turns to terror. What's the pattern behind the menace to the children? How is it connected to their designated guardians, the ubiquitous Filipina amahs whose backs happen to be turned when danger is closest? What's the significance of the aconite the postmortem finds in Petey's stomach? How can Claire get the observant gardener Mr. Yip to tell her what he obviously knows about Petey's death? And what can she do about the whispered rumors that the crimes are the work of a devil or a witch? There's much to admire in KÅng's debut: vivid Hong Kong backgrounds, a sharp eye for conflicts of class and nationality, and the looming threat to the heroine's family. Only the mystery itself, with its rushed explanations and its unsatisfying villain, is less than convincing.