Kansas City is jumping with murder and mysteries as Dorie Lennox struggles to succeed in her new job - taking over the private eye tasks of Amos Haddam, incapacitated by lungs weakened by gas inhaled during his years as a soldier in World War I. Unfortunately, Dories first job seems to end when the woman she was tailing suddenly jumps off the bridge into the wide Missouri River. Or was she pushed? Dorie is determined to find out, putting herself in danger as she rashly explores leads and uncovers crimes by Kansas Citys power elite. Her growing attraction to journalist Harvey Talbot complicates her life. Past hurts and a scarred past have toughened Dorie and made her fearful of male entanglements.
Dories Kansas City is dark and dreary. The Depression is barely over, the world is inching toward war. References to the news from Europe infuses the narrative which also describes the citys humid summer heat, the smoke and stink from its beef packinghouses, the sinister force of the wide Missouri, the down and out boarding houses, the crooked politicians with their ties to mobsters, gambling, and Kansas Citys lucrative racing tracks. On a lighter note, there is the music. The story tells of Jazz clubs, jiggerbugging, the Andrews Sisters singing on the radio of Dories beat up Packard, and Count Basie performing his One OClock Jump at the KC club.