After an argument at her Maryland home, sixteen-year-old Ginny Marshall gets high and runs away. She turns up on the doorstep of Maggie Ryan and Nick O’Connor’s Brooklyn brownstone. Ginny is a suspect in a murder investigation back home. Maggie goes to Maryland, where she searches for a killer as threads from the past threads from the past threaten to unravel both families.
Statistician Maggie Ryan returns to her alma mater to consult for Charlie Fielding, who is conducting experiments on how skilled readers read. She is invited to lunch with retired professor Tal Chandler. But Chandler is found dead. The police say suicide, but Maggie offers a different reading of the crime scene, casting suspicion on Fielding, others in the department and the dead man’s widow.
Reporter Olivia Kerr and her husband Jerry invite Olivia's colleague Dale Colby and his family to the beach. Accompanying them is a pregnant Maggie Ryan, Jerry's sister, and her family. When the beach-goers return, they find Dale’s body in a pool of blood inside his locked office. Vietnam veteran turned police officer Holly Schreiner leads the investigation, battling Maggie—and demons of her own.
Steve Bradford has a loving wife and a precious daughter, but he dreams of life in Venezuela with another woman. Nick O’Connor has been cast in a production with the famous Ramona Ricci. But there are new responsibilities too, as he and his wife, Maggie Ryan, are adjusting to life with a baby daughter of their own. Then Ramona is shot, and Steve puts Maggie at the heart of a dangerous deception.
Realtor Len Trager is anxious to sell the brownstone in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood, but prospective buyers don’t want to deal with Julia Northrup, who rents the basement apartment. Maggie Ryan and her husband Nick O'Connor love the property. They see though Julia’s act, and they’re not scared off by the corpse on the top floor.
The exploding wastebasket is a prank, but slaughtered lab rats have graduate students Maggie Ryan, Monica Bauer and the rest of the lab on edge. When the custodian is murdered, actor Nick O’Connor goes undercover to investigate, a protective gesture Maggie does not appreciate. While Maggie and Nick search for the killer, Monica struggles to connect with a young man shot in the head in Vietnam.
In the spring semester of 1968, brutal attacks draws campus women together to study self-defense and the psychology of rape. Mary Beth Nelson struggles to keep the Lords of Death at bay by immersing herself in researching Mayan languages. Her new housemate, Maggie Ryan, has her own secrets. When murder strikes close to home, Maggie investigates with a little help from her friends.
Nick and Lisette O’Connor need a change. They leave New York City for a semester as artists-in-residence at a college upstate, professional leads in a campus production of Hamlet. Threats and accidents follow Lisette, and Nick worries it might be more than just petty jealousy. Maggie Ryan, a student running lights for the show, helps investigate a mystery steeped in the turmoil of 1967 America.