Aurora Teagarden - Ro to her friends - is a librarian and president of the Real Murders Discussion Club in the town of Lawrenceton, she seen as the smartest of the club members when it comes to those real life murders. Who she brings new to the club are her younger cousin, college student Phillip Pifer, which does not sit well with Ro's mother, realtor Aida Teagarden who only sees trouble in talking about murder, and relatively new friend, Nick Miller, a Psychology professor at the local college, Ro and Nick who seem to be on the cusp of a relationship. In Ro setting up a day before a meeting in leading a discussion about the Lipstick Murders, the club members arrive to discover that Ro's discussion materials have either been vandalized or stolen, the vandal who left a calling card of sorts in some literary quote scribbled on one of Ro's Lipstick Murders crime scene photos. When Aida's office is subsequently vandalized with a similar literary quote calling card on another Lipstick Murders crime scene photo and some of Ro's materials stolen in the previous crime, Ro, on other evidence, is assumed to be the common bond and the target of whatever the criminal's actions. Police Chief Lynn Smith, and her husband, Homicide Detective Arthur Smith - a Real Murders member himself much to Lynn's chagrin - look to anyone who may have a grudge against Ro. The suspects include: new club member Davis Mettle, who seems to resent Ro's superiority on the subject; Edward Irons, a regular at the library who blames Ro for among other things not having his self-published book stocked in the library; Nick's new T.A. Dina McMillan, an academically bright but socially insecure woman who seems to have a hate at first sight for Ro; and much to Ro's chagrin Valerie Wagner, a longtime family friend who reacts unusually to the fact of the crimes and who had access in being both Ro and Aida's cleaner with code access and keys to both properties. Although Lynn has always resented any assistance from the Real Murders club members especially Ro herself, she does somewhat welcome that of her friend and Nick's boss, Forensic Psychologist Bree Carson who may be able to provide additional insight beyond the on the surface evidence. This collective will have to work fast to discover the perpetrator as he or she has committed subsequent crimes - with the same signature of the literary quote on a photo and stolen items from the previous crime left at the scene - against people close to Ro, those crimes increasingly violent with arguably the end target being Ro herself.