The first year in academia ends with a bang-up summer session for theater-director-turned-professor Claire Gray with a new production, a new love, and a dead body. Claire, a former Broadway director and now head of the Theater Department of Desert Arts College in Palm Springs, is running her summer workshop for the first time. The play she will direct is a staged version of the film Rebecca, and playing the female lead is Paige Yeats, daughter of the college's founder and president, D. Glenn Yeats. While rehearsals for the play go well, not everything else does. Yeats's second ex-wife, Felicia, storms into town and makes demands for a Santa Barbara home she received as part of the divorce settlement. When she is discovered poisoned in her hotel room, the real show begins as Claire must wade through a long cast of suspects to find her murderer.