With only her faith and fierce Custer pride by her side, Ariel Custer thinks she's heading to Philadelphia to accept work as a librarian's assistant, until she winds up in the small town of Glenside instead. There her life becomes inextricably linked with lonely dreamer Judson Granniss, his stubborn and tyrannical mother, a trouble-maker named Dick Smalley, incessant gum-chewing upstart Helena Boggs, and love thwarted Miss Emily Dillon. But she never guessed that all this would lead to murder. . .