When Dr. Urs Stoller’s body washes up on the Lac Leman beach, no one is sad.
His colleagues think the world-renowned art historian and Geneva University professor is arrogant and untrustworthy. His wife, Maria-Elena, a chemist at a pharmaceutical company, is more worried about a new blood thinner which is proving unreliable in test trials and is upset that her lover is reuniting with his wife.
Dr. Stoller was also the thesis advisor for his mistress, Mireille, and provided a fake evaluation of a group of sixteenth-century drawings Mireille found in a dumpster.
Annie Young, freelance writer and part-time historian, and Mireille are working with their auctioneer friends and former fellow classmates on a catalogue for the biggest auction the men have run yet. The auctioneers insist that Mireille get another evaluation of the drawings. Annie helps Mireille learn more about the artist, a young woman named Elizabeth, who was cruelly treated by her uncle, an official under Jean Calvin.
Then Annie’s fiance, Roger Perret, the police chief in the French village where Annie has settled, arranges an exchange program to Geneva so he can be with Annie, and is assigned to the Stoller case. His investigation leads them all in unexpected and surprising directions …