In a villa on the California coast, a murderer stalks a young heiress.
Laila Breen is a strangely naïve girl. Her father Jonas is an adventurer, a robber baron who made his fortune traveling exotic climes. Laila speaks French and knows how to order fine food, but she cannot read a newspaper and can barely write her own name. Jonas settles in California, planning to get this strange eighteen-year-old tutored in the ways of practical life. He dies soon after, leaving his daughter rich, clueless, and alone.
Her only friend is Dee Allison, a cousin who tries to help Laila even after the orphan catches the eye of Dee's fiancé. Standing in Dee's way is a gang of relatives who care more about Laila's fortune than her future. When a housekeeper falls victim to poisoning, Dee fears for Laila. For a young girl with money, nothing is more dangerous than family.