Rachel Pounsett is starting a job as an assistant to a mysterious professor at Leviathan University. She's recently divorced with a teenage daughter beginning her first year at the university and trying to make ends meet.
She enters into office politics working for one professor who doesn't need her services and only speaks to her to say hello and goodbye. The other one Roderick Teuferlvelt (pronounced Toy ferl velt) is in Europe doing research and communicates by e-mail.
Slowly she learns about the previous assistant who was murdered on campus.
Berthold does an excellent portrayal of how a woman responds to the problems she faces. The reader is readily sympathetic to Rachel and her plight. Describing Roderick's house and all the contents was well done.
When she meets Roderick they gradually become romantically involved. The more she gets to know him the more mysterious he becomes and she slowly learns of his past and what happened with his last assistant. The revelation when it comes after they're married was not a surprise. There were too many obvious clues when the truth comes out.