As in the author's other Mystery books, the characters are dependent on the sea for their livelihood, but the suspense part of this story is very minor. Karen Koski is one of the few people in the tiny fishing town of Tenas, Washington to even contemplate leaving -- liberation for her meant studying in Seattle to become a beautician, but an allergy on her hands had made her unable to continue the work and forced her to return home. Karen's refusal to accept many of the limited values of the tiny, self-centered community, including settling down at 17 with the local boy whom everyone had assumed she would marry, her family's financial problems and her brother's resentment at not being able to afford a more manageable fishing boat than the old fashioned one he has to struggle with, generally suspicious attitudes toward outsiders and the gradual adjustment of the town to the changes that will occur with an influx of tourism, are all important details which will draw a readership that too rarely finds books based on identifiable situations. Rather less perceptive is Karen's eventual rescue. A Prince Charming in the form of a college student doing research for the State Department of Fisheries slickly sweeps her off her feet and introduces her to the higher things in life (she'll go to college to become a distician) and somewhere along the way a valuable stock certificate (the ""dowry"") gets dug up to cover all the problem expenses.