Uneasily alone and troubled by a nagging sense of something amiss she can't quite pinpoint, Mim Fitz returns to the isolated cottage on Cape Breton Island she had shared with her late partner. Fleeting images of the shadowy person Cape Bretoners have dubbed the "Black Specter" and signs that someone might have been in her cottage ramp up her disquiet.
When Mim learns that the Murder House next door has been leased, she is pleased and relieved at the notion of near neighbors. She visits and meets fashionable Astrid Dunn, her dynamic husband Nick Dunn and their employees, in Cape Breton to film coyotes.
Not twenty-four hours later, Mim learns that Astrid Dunn is dead. Mim relates what little she knows of Astrid Dunn to Constable Claudine Hurley, a supremely warm and competent young woman on her first posting in Cape Breton.
Constable Hurley senses there is more to Astrid Dunn's death than meets the eye and discloses her reservations to Sergeant Potts. His dismissal of her doubts and his conclusion that Astrid Dunn's death was "accidental" are unaccountably vehement.
She continues to investigate discretely at first, then with help from a retired chief superintendent and films taken on the night of the death. Critical information she receives from Mim Fitz and her houseguests enables her to uncover the events that led to Astrid Dunn's untimely demise.
Constable Hurley’s stubborn persistence eventually earns the respect and support of her superior officer. And Mim Fitz comes finally to understand the source of the unease that has haunted her.