Alasdair Cameron and Fergus MacDonald were childhood friends. Their fathers' caps carried a blue hackle, the badge-feather of a distinguished Scottish regiment. Now the feather in Fergie's cap is the decaying Dunasheen Estate on the Isle of Skye. His desperate schemes to save his home depend on a collection of historic artifacts and a handful of paying guests who expect a traditional Scottish New Year celebration. For Jean and Alasdair, the bells of the new year are also wedding bells -- their rings are ready, their guests are invited, and the Gothic folly of Fergie's chapel is waiting. Then a guest is found murdered, lying in blood that's thicker than seawater.