The story begins as the gardener digs up a skull buried in the yard of a lakefront mansion in Grosse Pointe. The police are called, and the investigation begins of a murder that was committed over forty years ago. The investigation expands as more victims are identified.
A pointe system, used until the late 1960s to exclude certain people from Grosse Pointe, is used by the murderer to identify victims. The killer feels a need to "clean house" and return Grosse Pointe to its pristine past.
Meet some of the interesting people who have lived in Grosse Pointe over the past seventy years. One of them could be the murderer. Crash Chandler, the distinguished owner of the house where the skull was found and his companion, the former housekeeper, Celestine Jefferson. Crash's son, Charles, who is despised by everyone and his daughter, Victoria, who is respected and loved by all. Joyce Chandler, the brash wife of Charles, who comes from new money. Finally, meet the racist couple, Clive and Ella Stanton, who believe in the pointe system.
The police team includes Matt Carson, a detective with a long and distinguished career, and his young partner Chris Gregory, who is working his first case since being promoted to detective. Matt is is 3rd generation cop, while Chris is from a wealthy Grosse Pointe family.
While the story is a murder mystery, it is also a historical novel that covers the period from 1929 to the present in Grosse Pointe. Historical issues include how the community was restricted until civil rights legislation prohibited the practice, racism, and anti-Semitism.