Yvonne Brianka was orphaned at age seven and shipped off to a Catholic orphanage, where she is treated as a third rate citizen because of her Jewish father. Her dad has disappeared. Her younger sister Lisa insists he was lynched.
Somewhere along the way Yvonne picks up the nickname of Vonnie. When she left the orphanage at age 16, she went to work for the Rinaldis, the wealthiest family in town. One night she is gang raped by two violent young men, and soon she discovers she is pregnant. Knowing her predicament, Ezekiel Cheney offers to marry her. He is a Civil War veteran seventy years her senior, who expects nothing but housekeeping from her. He fulfills the father role for her and her son.
Vonnie eventually takes over as manager of Almasy House, a historic old hotel. But her problems are far from over. Her son’s death was ruled accidental, but she knows he was murdered. And whoever killed her baby is still out there.
When her sister is accused of murdering her son. Vonnie gets the town snoop, a hippy girl named Penny Payton, involved in proving her sister’s innocence.
Lisa Brianka talks about hanged men and drowned babies. People say she’s crazy. She’s witnessed violent death, and now a serial killer targets her.
Jack Brianka spent a year in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Now people say he’s mobbed up. It could be true.
Dylan Mynter’s first wife cheated on him; his second wife, Lisa Brianka, is crazy and his daughter is a freak.
Lucinda Rinaldi takes in strays. She’ll help anyone in need. But then the Klan discovers she’s a black woman passing as white.
Penny Payton is the town snoop. She’s discovered several of the town’s secrets. But a serial killer needs to shut her up.