Dog's Life columnist Holly Winter has just landed a plum contract to write a book on Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge's legendary pre-World War II dog shows. Holly arranges to interview one of the last living participants in those fabulously opulent and exclusive shows: canine fancier B. Robert Motherway.
But there's something decidedly unsettling about the gracious old gent's imposing home with its acres of kennels. His dying wife wails piteously in an upstairs room, his servants are his sullen son and his downtrodden daughter-in-law, and his favorite German shepherd dog has an ill-bred snarl. Meanwhile, Holly's mail is laced with anonymous packages-old photographs, letters in German, and a brochure on pills for listless pooches.
Nothing makes sense until a garroted body is found in a nearby cemetery. Suddenly Holly and her Alaskan malamutes, Rowdy and Kimi, are on a seventy-year-old trail of deception, decadence, and death. And either they unearth the skeletons or join them.