It's 1920s Chicago, and Louise and Evvie, who have known each other since school, share an apartment. Worldly Evvie, a painter and dancer - supposedly married at seventeen and then divorced - is living on her alimony. Louise is a successful advertising copywriter and in love with her boss. Flouting the Prohibition, they party and enjoy a drink, and like the company of men. They're independent, making their own way in the world, beyond the confines of marriage and motherhood.
But Louise's life is rudely interrupted by the brutal murder of Evvie - a crime that involves family, friends and Chicago itself.