Anna Maria O’Connell, a rising opera singer with her eye on the Metropolitan Opera, jumps at the chance to spend the summer as artist-in-residence at her alma mater, the Conservatory of the Midwest. It promises to be a wonderful break from the grind of concert touring—six weeks sharing a luxury penthouse with her two best friends while they turn aspiring young musicians into professional artists. It looks like the perfect way to spend the summer, until murder intrudes.
Anna Maria discovers something is distinctly off-key as everyone seems to have a motive for strangling the young pianist, and embezzlement undermines the school’s desperate fundraising plan. The investigation isn’t helped by bickering among the eccentric faculty and competition among students driven to succeed at any cost. Worse yet, with her beloved uncle the police detective hot on the trail of a murderer, it’s only a matter of time before the news of the stolen funds leaks to the press. If the donors find out, the school is finished.