Editor-publisher Emma Lord and her Alpine Advocate staff suspect excitement when glamorous Ursula O'Toole Randall returns to Alpine to marry her third husband. But hers is a lethal homecoming. . . .
Ursula, clad in satin pajamas, is found dead in the shallow waters of the Skyhomish River. Sheriff Dodge suspects foul play. Yet as Emma hunts for a stop-press story, a snake-in-the-grass killer, unappeased by one murder, slithers unnoticed through the shadows. . . .