Mystery writer Jessica Fletcher is vacationing in Italy where she has joined the Great Art, Humble Places tour. She and the group are inside the Church of San Bernardino of Siena in the town of L'Aquila when two friars enter. They steal a Bellini, but when a visitor former Italian cop Fandello pulls a gun out, one of the thieves kills him and aims at Jessica before fleeing. She saw his face vividly and reported so to the police investigating the homicide art theft.
Back home in Cabot Cove, Maine Jessica learns that Jonathan Simsbury, husband of her best friend Marlise from her New York days was murdered in their home in Chicago. Not long after that Jonathan's adult son from his first wife Wayne arrives. He asks Jessica for help because his stepmom always said she was levelheaded. Jessica agrees to accompany a troubled Wayne back home where Marlise is the prime suspect in her spouse's homicide. At the office of Marlise's attorney Mr. Corman, Wayne says his stepmom murdered his father. Stunned by the revelation, Jessica investigates the murder while the Italian police want her to return there to testify in the art theft homicide in the Abruzzi region.
The latest Murder She Wrote is an exciting twisted thriller that has Jessica for the most part still on tour (see The Queen's Jewels). The Chicago caper takes several unexpected spins while stealing of art is the third most profitable felony. Readers will appreciate the latest Fletcher amateur sleuth as the heroine learns it is hard to be in two places an ocean apart at the same time.