For the inaugural performance at the newly opened Sheridan Center for the Performing Arts in Chicago, the organizers have brought in a much-discussed new staging of Carmen. Even though it has been sold out for weeks, Emily Charters and a friend have secured tickets for the opening night performance. Despite widespread rumors of back-stage troubles, the performance goes off without a hitch - up until the climatic scene when the actor playing Don Jose dies onstage.
It is soon evident that the actor didn't die of natural causes and Jeremy Ransom, a Detective with the Chicago Police Department and friend of Emily Charters, is assigned the case. But as he quickly discovers, there is no lack of potential suspects. Between the out of control opera company diva, intrigues between the opera company cast, dubious financial situation of the company, not to mention the behind-the-scenes drama at the Sheridan Center itself, Ransom is facing his most complex case yet.