The summer heat in Washington slows just about every activity to a crawl. With Congress still in session, everyone is eagerly awaiting the recess so plans to vacate the City for the Atlantic beaches can begin. Without warning a sudden and unexplained murder occurs in the most secure section of the city - Embassy Row. Margaret Longleaf is again confronted with a series of baffling events that she must examine from her limited perspective. The cast of characters come in many shapes - from sophisticated city dwellers, who have a stake in every activity from the mundane to the powerful to the country folk, who have no interest in the hectic activities of the City.