Sarah Favor says goodbye to her diplomat fiancÃ‰--who's off to the US embassy in Ligumia--and returns to the house she shares with a gaggle of Favor relatives: budding opera star Fanny; award-winning poet Roseart; poor-relation Norm (another State Dept. type); and grande dame Corinna, novelist and longtime mistress of Sarah's diplomat father Charles. Almost immediately, however, Sarah discovers the shot-to-death body of Corinna's ne'er-do-well stepson Forte (son of Corinna's long-disappeared husband Len Briggs). And while the other Favors want to cover up the murder--handyman Gus will tidily dispose of the body--Sarah has qualms, especially after her car brakes are tampered with and someone tries to strangle her. Matters are complicated, too, by the reappearance of Len Briggs (who's looking for his son) and by the return of Sarah's fiancÃ‰. So the routine windup involves more murder, a kidnap, a rescue, and a plot-secret that has something to do with mineral rights in Ligumia. Like Eberhart's other recent by-the-numbers suspensers: slow, harmless, and completely unlifelike.