In Beacon Hill, one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Boston, a wealthy widow dies in her sleep, while in Cambridge, where academia meets high tech, a dog is slaughtered. One death has seemingly no bearing on the other until the death in a remote Chinese village is announced. Answering the call from a friend, amateur detectives Ann Lee and Fang Chen rush to the ancient village, where the branches of a family tree stretch from China to New Zealand, Australia, and the US, and where-to Ann's great chagrin-Fang Chen becomes obsessed with a girl being pursued by a ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to sacrifice her in the name of love. Will Fang Chen's untimely passion get in the way of his investigation and destroy his partnership with Ann? Can the amateur sleuths outsmart the cunning and crafty killer?