A call from Henry Brammin, Anna Peters's old mentor at New World Oil, sends the proprietor of Executive Security down to Florida's Gulf Coast for a brief working vacation. Brammin wants to know why his nephew suddenly has money for an expensive sailboat and a fancy antiques shop.
The answers involve Vlad Sebastian, a wealthy and reclusive art collector with a socially ambitious daughter, a questionable past, and some dubious employees. Anna's efforts to discover if Brammin's nephew is one of them brings danger both to her and another old friend, the newly sober and newly married John Hillary, the reporter last seen in The Big Payoff. Hillary, who has his own interests in the mysterious Mr. Sebastian, provides entree to the Sebastians' glamorous social circle—and provokes a variety of domestic complications.
Anna's attempt at a vacation is soon in ruins, as she and John Hillary find there are plenty of reptiles in the lush and glamorous gardens of south Florida.
Used availability for Janice Law's The Shadow of the Palms
April 1981 : UK Hardback
December 1979 : USA Hardback
March 2000 : USA Paperback