At a breakfast get together with friends, Deputy Sheriff Claire Watkins is told about the problems Margaret Underwood is having with her stepmother, Patty Jo Tilde, now that her father, Walter, has had a stroke and is in a nursing home. Later, Margaret calls Claire and asks her to go to Margaret's family home with her to speak with Patty Jo. Patty Jo is not keeping up the farm and plans to sell it to Daniel Reiner and auction off the household. Margaret doesn't think she has that right. Claire and Margaret plan to stop her.
During the night, neighbors spot the Tilde barn in flames. The fire department arrives in time to save the other farm buildings, but the barn is lost. Margaret and Claire suspect arson and begin to suspect Patty Jo might be the culprit. Meanwhile, Claire's sister Bridget has separated from her husband and moves into Claire's old place of residence with her daughter Rachel. This home is also set on fire, a case of arson. Walter, although beginning to get well, suddenly dies. Are all these instances coincidence? Claire means to find out.
This report prepared by Jan Lamers