This novel is set in August 1960 when Vice President Nixon is riding the campaign trail. Among his next stops is Black River Falls, Iowa - a prospect that has the whole town talking. Meanwhile, reclusive preacher, John Muldaur claims that he may be the target of a papist assassination plot. Although Sam McCain, the town's youngest lawyer and sometime private investigator, finds this improbable, he can't deny it when the preacher drops dead at his own altar. With Nixon's visit only a week away, this inconvenient matter of murder must be cleared up fast. Between McCain and the solution stand a heap of local prejudices, unpleasant family secrets, another corpse and a cage full of rattlesnakes.