A half-century of newspaper experience has left Pulitzer Prize-winning ex-reporter Henrietta "Henrie O" Collins uniquely qualified to teach journalism at ivy-covered Thorndyke University in Derry Hills, Missouri. And she demands of her students the same steadfast dedication to the truth that was the cornerstone of her own illustrious career. So when beautiful, ambitious and abrasive Maggie Winslow approaches her with an idea for an investigative series - a new look at three unrelated and hitherto unsolved local crimes - Henrie O urges the tenacious budding reporter to pursue the story with uncommon vigor. But Maggie's zeal may have cost her her life. The next day her corpse is discovered - at the very site of one of the trio of crimes the extraordinary young woman was investigating at the time of her death. The police call Maggie's murder a crime of passion and arrest an appropriate suspect. But Henrie O doubts that justice has been properly served. Perhaps Maggie was asking too many questions about a decade-old double homicide...or about the disappearance years ago of a popular dean...or about the unsolved shooting of a local businessman. And perhaps someone who killed before has killed again.