Amically divorced from art gallery keeper Elliot McCallister, Samantha Kinsey, who always dreamed of being a detective, like her prosecutor's office friend Cassie, inherits her uncle's crime mystery-specialized bookshop. It comes with mysterious clerk and presumed retired spy Ian Philby. Her former literature professor crime hit author Jack Stenning's adopted daughter Tracy wines that he waved her fear that writing a story fitting her nightmarish vision about a ten years old murder, writing a witness survives. At the party in his home to present his book, Jack is murdered by a surprise guest who brought the noose to stage a suicide and took evidence. Jack's estranged son Tom and his boss Lt. Robert Hawke investigate, but rule suicide. Although general heir and claiming she loved Jack despite serial adultery, widow Mary asks the bookstore would be sleuths gang to prove it a murder and solve it. Shrtly after, Sam is the target of a break-in and breaks sabotage.