California State Representative Howard Blooming was assassinated 20 years ago, but he just won't stay dead. Hours after Emma Victor, his former press secretary, agrees to carry a bundle of his confidential papers over to San Francisco's brand- new Howard Blooming Lesbian and Gay Memorial Archive, she's mugged by a pair of toughs who may have been looking for the papers; then, when she finally gets to the archive gala--without her departed live-in lover Frances Cohen, and wearing the same dress as archive director Tracy Port--she has to watch Tracy die of poison (in error for Emma?). And that's just the beginning of the weekend. Once Emma tells chiropractor Lee Turgo she'll help prove that Lee's longtime companion, mystery writer Helen Thomas, didn't poison Tracy in revenge for her coming on to Lee, she's bought into an investigation that'll have her getting her nose pierced, making treacherously close new friends, dialing 911 twice more to report dead bodies--and uncovering motives lurking in those papers for everybody from Blooming's long-lost terrorist cousin to his long-dead assassin to kill again. Refreshingly nasty in its riotous view of San Francisco's gay upper crust--though Emma's third (She Came in a Flash, 1989, etc.) presents so many suspects guilty about everything except their sexual preferences that they practically have to take numbers.