The Fourth of July is one of the hottest on record and even the breeze off Penobscot Bay can't seem to cool things down for Faith Fairchild and the rest of the folks on Sanpere Island. After the celebrations are over, Faith discovers a body in the woods near The Birches, an early twentieth-century 'cottage.' The body is identified as The Birches' housekeeper. The death is only one of the dramatic events upending the historic house. A family gathering has been called to decide who will inherit the estate that has been in the Proctor family for generations. With this much money involved, it's just a matter of time before trouble arises.