Betty Longstreet, a prominent client of John Mariner, a Blanco, Texas, lawyer, is brutally murdered and robbed. Mariner is hired to handle the estate, but to probate the estate, Mariner must make sure that the murderer is not one of the beneficiaries. Because of Betty's tumultuous lifestyle, the list of suspects is long. Bob Hauffler, the Blanco County Sheriff and a friend of Mariner, heads up solving the murder with Mariner's help and with the help of Mariner's retired policeman buddy, Larry Wagner. Along the way Mariner's life is threatened but eventually the team pieces together the complicated reasons for the murder and the people who did it.