Colorado's Fraser Valley struggles with the usual problems of the scenic high country— too much development, too little water, culture clashes— but normally it's a peaceable community preoccupied with skiing the deep powder and making ends meet.

Then the Colorado Bureau of Investigation's Annette Trieri moves in and dead bodies start turning up. A developer who thrives on controversy, a muck-raking writer, and a community leader all die under circumstances that at first look innocent. But inconsistencies pique Annette's suspicion, and she finds that they're all tied to water in general and the Front-Range Associated Water Board in particular, predators from across the mountains with designs on the valley's future.

Ultimately, she's able to bring to justice the parties responsible for Developing Murder.