Frustrated by an impenetrable murder case in D.C. which no one seems to want solved, not the family, not the police, not the newspapers, private eye Mary Jane Morris retreats to her aunt's seaside hotel in Costa Rica for some great food, fishing, and drinks with little umbrellas in them. Mary Jane's roommate has a fourteen year-old son Jackson who begs to go along, arguing that the trip will expose him to a different culture and improve his Spanish. It seemed like a good idea at the time. The trip rapidly becomes the vacation from hell. The rickety passenger plane nearly crashes in a storm, and they survive the crocodiles in the river only because a realtor manages to scare them off with his helicopter. Mary Jane's Aunt Carmen is being blackmailed by someone who claims she doesn't own the land the hotel is built on, a tsunami of negative reviews on hotel websites threaten to drive her out of business, and the bank is threatening to foreclose. Soon they are all caught up in a spider's web of land fraud, counterfeit art, and murder, and the spider is out to get them.