When retired newspaper reporter Henrietta O'Dwyer Collins, Henrie O to her friends, receives a call for help, she discovers that love once kindled never burns to ashes. Although she refused Jimmy Lennox's marriage proposal, there is still a special place for him in her heart. She wished him well when he found happiness with Sophia Montgomery, world-famous documentary filmmaker and stepmother to the now grown heirs of a great fortune. Sophia is at odds with the heirs, and Jimmy fears for her safety. He asks Henrie O to come along with the family on a Baltic cruise. Henrie O can't turn down her old friend, though old passions are stirred when he calls.
On the voyage she soon realizes this dysfunctional family is plunging toward destruction and one of the travelers has murder in mind. As the ports of call pass—Copenhagen, Gdynia, Tallinn, St. Petersburg—death inexorably approaches. Henrie O works desperately to save Jimmy and to bring hope to lives blighted by anger, resentment, and heartbreak.