Melanie Travis has her hands full these days, what with adding a husband and three more dogs to her already cramped home. The advanced obedience training for her dog Faith is a welcome respite from the stresses of house hunting—until murder forces Melanie to the head of the class. Even amidst the chaos, Melanie somehow manages to eke out a bit of time to get Faith enrolled in "school." The South Avenue Obedience Club looks like fun, even if there are enough sexual and political undercurrents in the group to power a small generator. Melanie is especially eager to bring Faith to the program at the Winston Pumpernill Nursing Home. Club member Paul Lennox initiated the outings to please his Great Aunt Mary, and since many of the other residents are also dog lovers, the trips are now a treasured tradition. Melanie and Faith are warmly welcomed at the home, but their very first visit ends in tragedy when Aunt Mary is found suffocated in her bed. There's no shortage of suspects—from the wealthy victim's ne'er-do-well son to the staff to the secret-laden club members themselves, there's motive and opportunity aplenty. All Melanie has to do is follow the trail—and watch her back.