After traveling to Bethesda for a mystery writers conference, Jessica Fletcher decides shes earned a vacation and takes a train to Columbia, South Carolina, to visit her old college friend Dolores, who has recently married her third husband, Willis Nickens, a wealthy and cutthroat businessman. Theyve moved into an opulent historic home with plenty of space for guests, and Jessica is ready for a week of shopping, gossiping, and relaxing at the grand estate. But the morning after she arrives, Jessica discovers Willis facedown in the koi pond, and despite what the police think, shes sure foul play is involved. She hadnt known Willis long, but its clear to her that he didnt concern himself with making friends. The question isnt if her friends husband was murdered but by whom.