Forty years (!) after her sister Lila, fresh out of high school, was killed after a well-attended Elks Club dance, Virginia Murphy returns to Key West and asks alcoholic piano-player-cumprivate eye Gideon (Bud) Lowry to run down the killer. Even before Virginia takes a conveniently fatal tumble down a staircase, Bud begins to see, beneath the discreet police coverup, the familiar pattern of the omnipotent Bayard construction family extending its tentacles. Was it Peter, Jack, or Clint Bayard--or maybe their philandering father, old John T.--who met Lila after that dance? What does this ancient history have to do with the murder of a key witness in the current Cleansweep corruption trial? And why will nobody in Key West, not even Bud's brother Carl, John T.'s protÇgÇ and successor in the state senate, tell what they all must know about the case? Actually, you pretty much know most of those answers already, right? So read this hardcover debut as a moody, Chandleresque meditation on family, friendship, and the past, and try to ignore the feeble mystery.