A businesswoman arrives in Chicago to attend her granddaughter’s graduation, little knowing that she’ll need to solve a murder before she can leave town alive.
Cealia Gunther is trying to find herself after her husband’s death. She’s broken off her affair with the charming restaurateur Gil Thurman, who’s just opened another of his Cajun restaurants. Her son Roger hasn’t recovered from the death of his wife, and his daughter Kat has been running the household while he drifts along. Cealia is shocked to discover that Kat, an honor student, has been cutting classes and may not even graduate after her favorite teacher is implicated in the death of a school custodian. Hoping to solve the crime and get Kat back to school, Cealia goes undercover as a substitute teacher. Her first day is a rude awakening to classes filled with unruly students who have no interest in learning. Many of the teachers clearly have things to hide, and plenty of the students seem mean enough to be killers. Cealia fights the urge to run to Gil for help even when she’s shot at and nearly run down. Sifting through all she has learned, she suddenly realizes the killer’s identity. A confrontation in the auditorium nearly leads to her death.
In her maiden voyage, Cealia, whose angst certainly rings true, meets a mystery that will keep you guessing along with her.