Minutes after Dr. Doyle Smith collapses at a San Diego medical examiners' conference, muttering, ``Murder...letter in safe...authorities...'' into Dr. Samantha Turner's ear, Sam's in his hotel room looking for that letter. There goes the convention--Sam spends the night in stir--and there goes Sam's honeymoon with her stepson Derek (who pursued her though The Holiday Murders, 1992)- -somebody bombs the flight they've booked back to Sheridan, Wyoming. The sequel, as Sam (whose pregnancy takes her off the plane at the last minute) alternately swaps light-comedy repartee with Derek (also surviving) and grimly tags the remains of the dead, shows Landreth's writing at her best and worst: despite an ingenious and gripping premise that ties the murder motive to some scary tissue-research at a St. Thomas clinic, she never finds a tone that would weave together all the threads of the story. A mix of homicide, midlife romance, coverups, and unassimilated forensic detail that reads like a bunch of outtakes from Sam's promising debut. But Landreth's talent ensures that she'll be back with a stronger vehicle.