Constance and Charlie, the charming middle-aged lovebirds of the tricky Smart House and The Dark Door, this time lend their psychological and investigative skills to a series of related crimes in the tony hamlet of Spender's Ferry, New York, where recent arrivals, lottery winners A1 and Sylvie, are trying to settle in. But someone's making it difficult. The working-class couple's dog is poisoned; they're getting intimidating hate-mail; then the young student who found them the house (adjacent to the property of his infatuation, tree-researcher Dr. Lois Wharton) supposedly OD's; and, finally, Lois' stepdaughter's wealthy husband Stanley, who was to be A1 and Sylvie's money-manager, is stung to death by rampaging bees. Constance, cheerfully analyzing everyone's behavior, and Charlie, doggedly sifting through the clues, ultimately force the culprit into one last rash act, but not before Lois's first husband is also killed, and her current husband, a powerful mover and shaker of politicos (and others), emotionally abandons her. Laboriously worked-out motivations that seem plausible when Constance and Charlie winsomely explain them that are, on reflection, folderol. Puzzle fans, however, will enjoy separating the red herrings from the facts.