Private eye Sharon McCone was hired by a San Francisco legal services plan, to discover who was vandalizing a small street of antique shops when one of the antique dealers was found murdered in her own shop. Sharon had no idea who had killed Joan Albritton, a pleasant older woman whose main fault was talking to the dressmaker's dummy, the stuffed German shepherd, and the little boy mannequin she kept in her shop, but she didn't feel confident in the police's ability to discover the killer. Especially after she met the unpleasantly patronizing Lieutenant Marcus who was in charge of the case. Uncertain of whether she would be paid for her work or not, but refusing to allow Joan Albritton's killer to go free, Sharon starts her investigation.
Suspects abound, with Charlie, the junkman who ran the shop across the street from Joan's, at the forefront. Charlie was Joan's former lover, recently jilted for a wealthier man, and he was the one who had discovered the body and called the police. Then there was Cara Ingalls, a real estate mogul with ice running through her veins. She made no secret of the fact that she was glad that Joan was gone so that she could buy the land and force the antique dealers out. Of course, Cara was not the only one trying to buy the land and then there was the slimy bond bailsman and the slick "antique-style" dealer who kept popping up at every corner. Not to mention the puzzling Lieutenant Marcus, who was grateful for Sharon's help and then pushing her aside the next. As Sharon takes more and more risks, she comes closer to solving Joan's death, but she also comes closer to being murdered herself.
The review of this Book prepared by Debbie