Social-worker Linda Stewart, 42 and single, has adopted an infant born to pugnacious high-school student Marylou Rogin, who'd come to the Riverview Center for Teenagers, where Linda is a senior counselor. Now, six months later, Marylou is demanding her baby back, and Linda, sick at heart, feels she has no choice but to accede. The Center's legal advisor, Jay Earling, collects and delivers the baby--a day later, Marylou and infant are found strangled in a nearby pond. Linda, driven to find the reason and the murderer, follows every rumor, suspecting a baby-buying scam gone wrong, and talks to everyone even peripherally involved with Marylou. A dozen unlikely interviews later, accompanied by much soul-searching and help from an unexpected ally, Linda has uncovered a bizarre but unconvincing plot and a happy ending. Contrived but amiable romance-mystery, not up to the author's best.