Dorothy Martin and her husband, retired Chief Constable Alan Nesbitt, go on a trip to Orkney in Scotland to visit an old friend and see some intriguing Stone Age excavations. They realize there's considerable dissension between the archaeologists and the principal dor for the newest dig, a wealthy and abrasive American. When a more recent corpse is found at the dig, various suspects are named, but there's t eugh evidence to bring a case against anyone. Dorothy, always sensitive to atmosphere and the undercurrent of tension pervading the project, has become fascinated by the strong aura of the ancient past that pervades Orkney, and she and Alan launch an ufficial investigation into the murder.
Jeanne M. Dams, an American, is a devout Anglophile who has wished she could live in England ever since her first visit in 1963. Fortunately, her alter ego, Dorothy Martin, can do just that. Jeanne lives in South Bend, Indiana, with a varying population of cats.