A ninth adventure for Farberville's nosy bookstore owner Claire Malloy (Poisoned Pins, 1993, etc.). Her best friend Luanne is dating dentist Dick Cissel, but nasty Sheriff Gannet is giving Dick a hard time, still trying to prove the death of his second wife in a boat explosion was no accident. Claire, responding to Luanne's plea for help, becomes acquainted with Dick's neighbors at his weekend home on the lake where the boat went down. The area is dominated by the Dunling Foundation, a nonprofit corporation headed by social-climbing Agatha Anne Gallinago, which controls 4,000 square miles of bird sanctuary. After her obnoxious teenaged daughter, Caron, is hired as a trail guide, Claire is ever-present there, barely managing to avoid being charged by Gannet when the body of blackmailing marina manager Bubo Limpkin is pulled from the lake. There's more, much more, in this quagmire of a plot, bogged down with paper-thin characters, heavy-handed whimsy, a denouement that defies belief, and a heroine who grows ever more unappealing.