For Fish and Wildlife Agent Venus Diamond, it's the perfect day to investigate a murder. It's foggy and raining on the Olympic Peninsula, Venus's eccentric mother is having trouble with her adopted son Timmy, and her fiancé has just broken off their engagement—by email, no less. What better distraction from this sudden mayhem than a crime scene? So Venus hops the department chopper up the coast from Seattle (stowing her Harley for the return trip) to the village of Fern, Washington, home to a rather snooty spa catering to Seattle's affluent, the corporate offices of the exclusive Avalon parfumerie, and an ecological preserve. In the preserve, near the meadow Avalon uses to cultivate blue poppies for their fragrance, a security guard has discovered the body of a lepidopterist. Upon investigating, Venus finds that a motley crew of suspicious characters exploit the preserve for their own selfish reasons, and any one of them could have popped the butterfly collector for witnessing something he shouldn't have. It's up to Venus to find out which one did the deed.