Barrister-sleuth Robert Forsythe, sans faithful secretary Abigail Sanderson (A Death for a Dancing Doll, 1991, etc.), is recuperating from knee surgery in the lush Damien Day rest home--a hospital for the sick, addicted, or obese rich enough to afford it. Also in residence are much-married cosmetics-queen Kate Kapiche, famed artist Harry Oglethorpe, and businessman John Josephson. On the staff, meanwhile, is Gareth Owen, whose tyrannical father and three sisters were murdered by poison 17 years ago, when Oglethorpe owned an estate and summer cottages near the Owen farm. The killer was never found, and Kate feels her life--as well as those of others who rented the cottages, like Josephson's father--has been jinxed. She's convinced that Forsythe could help solve the mystery. Further plot contrivance brings others, including Kate's stepdaughter Meg, to the hospital, and before long Damien Day becomes a killing ground--in the midst of a raging snowstorm yet! Purplish prose and stagy characters--all endowed with total recall in an elaborately manufactured, totally unconvincing story. A downer for this usually satisfying author.