After seven years of travel, in October 1995, Jeanne Landry returns to the Barrett Hills estate where she grew up; her brother Owen is now caretaker. Jeanne is resigned to servant life for a while, in part beguiled by Charles Barrett suggesting that she may be like her late mother. A servant may overhear (though a good servant never lurks), and Jeanne is aware of the discord and conflict among Charles and Cecilia and their four grown children.
Come January, during the Blizzard of ´96, there is murder on the estate, which has been isolated by the storm and a blackout. Jeanne and Owen quickly realize that the Barretts plan to have the Landrys take the blame and to be unable to deny it.
Two families, each with its faults and misunderstandings, each with love and loyalty; for all their differences much the same. And a puzzle Jeanne has little time to solve.
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