Another convoluted puzzle for San Francisco's Sharon McCone, investigator for All-Souls Legal Cooperative (Where Echoes Live, 1991, etc.). This one goes back to 1956, when Lis Benedict, wife of biochemist Vincent, was convicted of the grisly murder of her husband's young mistress, society playgirl Cordy McKittridge. Now released from jail, Lis is living with daughter Judy, who was a ten-year-old witness at her trial and soon after was adopted by prosecuting D.A. Joseph Stameroff, now an influential judge. Judy has persuaded All-Souls lawyer Jack Stuart to undertake a reinvestigation of the case, in the guise of a mock trial before a San Francisco institution called the Historical Tribunal. As Sharon explores the background and relationships of those long-ago years, ominous things start to happen in the here and now--nasty graffiti, threatening phone calls, and two deaths (at least one of them murder). It all ends in florid melodrama as the trial draws to a close. A heavily overembroidered plot; murky motives; too many characters with unconvincing total recall; glimmers of mysticism and lots of psychobabble--all add up to a dull, disjointed outing for an often engrossing author.