Pat and Jean are invited by distant relatives to stay at the Black Cypress estate in Laguna Beach. It seems that one of the Abbotts’ less-than-pleasant distant relations, Enid Ponsonby, is being watched with a murderous eye, and Pat and Jean are called in for their sleuthing talents.
As a welcoming act, an expert knife thrower offers Jean a pointy death, which she barely has the chance to decline. The next morning a ne’er-do-well visiting from New Orleans is found on the property at the base of a cliff, having taken a shortcut to the bottom. The Abbotts face a cast of characters whose dysfunctional relationships with one another ensure the case is no walk on the beach.