Something is very wrong on Sanpere this summer . . . Escaping the misery of a particularly sweltering August in Aleford, Massachusetts, caterer and minister's wife Faith Fairchild and her family take a long drive to their favorite getaway, peaceful Sanpere Island off the coast of Maine. But things have changed since their last visit. The unique ambience of Sanpere is being threatened by aggressive real estate developer Harold Hapswell, whose plans to fill the island with huge, showy new mansions has infuriated many residents. Tensions are high, with animosity between year-round islanders and "summer people" reaching dangerous new levels. It's no wonder that, in an atmosphere so thick with ill feeling, murder rears its ugly head. The first outrage occurs when a successful real estate agent nearly dies after drinking a turpentine-laced cup of soda pop. Then, while exploring the grounds of Sanpere's historic, now-abandoned lighthouse, Faith has the misfortune of stumbling across the corpse of Harold Hapswell himself. His death is officially ruled an accident, but Faith's tried-and-true instincts tell her otherwise -- an unsettling inkling that is confirmed by the discovery of a second, more obvious homicide.