Wealthy Maggie Baird is neither nice nor kind nor generous. Once she was beautiful, but now, although middle-aged, she retains the appetites of a beautiful woman. When Maggie's car catches fire with her inside it, suspicion focuses on the five houseguests staying at Maggie's luxurious Highlands cottage; her timid niece and four former lovers, once of whom Maggie had intended to pick for a husband. All five are impecunious. All five had ample opportunity to monkey with Maggie's car. So finding who did it requires all Police Constable Hamish Macbeth's extraordinary common sense and insight into human nature. And lazy lout though he may be, Hamish lets no grass grow under his feet when it comes to solving a murder. Especially when he may be the next target.