Matthew Scudder investigates the brutal murder of a woman known as the “bag lady.” A seemingly homeless woman, she turns out to have distributed her substantial wealth in a complex will naming random strangers. Where did the money come from? Why was she living in such reduced circumstances? And why in the world did she choose these beneficiaries - the owner of a local newspaper stand, a neighbor she rarely spoke to, the detective himself - when her real friends and acquaintances got nothing at all? And how is all this linked to her murder?