About the author:
- Troy Bannister, buyer for Frobisher Department Stores
- Jerome Blake / Joe Blank
- Dan Kinnaird. Mexican sales representative
- Casimir Lazlo, jewelry maker
- Dorka Lazlo, his daughter
- Carmelo Ortiz, jewelry maker
- Chucho Ortz, his son
Troy Bannister heads to Mexico to select a jewelry maker for Frobisher Department Stores. She has organized a competition to select one to be their exclusive supplier in the US. She has a hidden agenda: she wants the winner to be old flame Jerome Blake, to get him back in her clutches and back to the US.
Upon arrival, two sinister things happen. First, she visits one of the jewelry makers, Casimir Lazlo - considered to be front runner in the competition. Minutes later, he is found stabbed to death and his prototype necklace missing. Second, she runs into old flame Jerome Blake, but he pretends to not recognize her, and is going under the alias of Joe Blank.
Soon after, Troy is leaving her room and comes across the body of Carmelo Ortiz, another jewelry designer. His son, Chucho Ortiz, tells how he saw her running away from the scene.
Troy Bannister starts out likable but soon is revealed to be a scheming woman who will manipulate things to get her claws into her old flame, Jerome Blake - even going so far as creating a fixed competetion and arranging for him to win.