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World War II hero Davy Fox has returned to his New England hometown of Wrightsville a changed man. When his wife Linda wakes up to find Davy’s hands squeezed around her neck, it takes all of her strength to get away. But Davy is more than shellshocked from the war. He’s haunted by events of twelve years before, when his mother was murdered by his father, Bayard, who is serving life in prison and had always insisted that he was not the one who killed his wife.
Linda hopes that if Davy’s father could be proved innocent, it might clear the conscience of her young, angry war hero husband, saving her marriage and herself. She suggests to Davy that they seek out Ellery Queen, a New York writer whom she remembers successfully solved a previous Wrightsville mystery.