The day finally arrives when the Owners of Sheffield Bed and Breakfast watch the beginnings of their new cottage on the grounds. Brenda and Mac Rivers can’t wait until it is finished and they will move from the apartment in the historic Inn to their own home. Rich Turner, Contractor, unwittingly turns their lives around when he tells them of hitting metal beneath the ground. That evening Brenda and Mac don’t wish to wait to find out what it is. They work long and hard with shovels to dig up a worn metal chest.
Brenda recalls a skeleton key she found in her uncle’s possessions when she became heir to the 1890’s Queen Anne structure and grounds. They manage to open the chest and find various items that spreads from the late 1800’s through 1970’s. The Detective is aware of a cold case that is dormant in the store room at his Precinct. The 1982 case of the robbery and murders of Bridgett and Thomas Mackey is reopened. Detective Mac Rivers and Brenda don’t have to look farther than guests in their own establishment. The connections between Annette Pickard, Author, and Logan Clark, Textile Broker, are suspicious. To add to it, Annette is very possessive of the novel she is writing. She avoids Logan at all costs and doesn’t bend to subtle hints of curiosity about the book that come from Brenda Rivers and Allie Williams, the young Reservationist.
Annette shuns all questions when asked if she is related to a notorious thief now serving time in prison. She distances herself from Hal Pickard until forced to admit she knows him but vows she has no idea of the life he has led over the years. Logan Clark is married to Jane who comes from a wealthy family in New York and until the day he disappears from the bed and breakfast, everything points to a happy union between them. Brenda and Mac now focus on missing Logan Clark and the book Annette is shielding as if gold. Brenda insists the book holds answers to questions that caused the case to go cold.