It is the early 1980s, a time when air travel was uncomplicated, when people still smoked in offices, restaurants and bars. 'February Heat,' set on St. Ursula, a British Caribbean island very near to the American and British Virgin Islands, is the first novel in a trilogy featuring Frank James, poet and private detective. In this tale, Frank finds his calm and secure life on St. Ursula in jeopardy when he receives a phone call from Liz Ford, a woman he briefly met when returning home on the ferry from St. Thomas. Awakened by her 2:36 am call telling him someone had just tried to kill her and asking for his help, Frank and his friend, Chance agree to help her. After a shoot-out on a beach, they find they must accompany her to Philadelphia where they find her physician husband has been murdered. Before they can safely return to St. Ursula Frank and Chance break into the offices of a mysterious New Hampshire college with connections to Liz's husband's medical practice and the drug ring with which the doctors are involved. Frank's situation is complicated by his troubled relationships with Howard Penn, the island's Chief Inspector of Police, who despises expatriate Americans, and L. Arthur Parker, St. Ursula's Prime Minster, who will do anything, and use anyone in any way he can, to assure his continuance in office.