While at Calvert Colony, a life care community centre in Maryland, and at lunch with her friend, retired mystery author and amateur painter L.K. 'Naddie' Bromley and her neighbour Sophia Milanesi, who survived the closing years of the Second World War in a convent in Italy, Hannah meets Filomena Buccho, a personable young Argentine server. Her brother, Raniero, also works at the Colony as chef. But when Masud Abaza and his wife, Safa, move into the community and Masud is found murdered, his head bashed in by a croquet mallet, suspicion falls on Raniero, who has made no secret of his neo-Fascist sentiments. Hannah and Naddie agree to investigate, uncovering old crimes and reigniting ancient quarrels that know no boundaries of place or time.