It's New Year's Eve, 1952. Texas politicians are backslapping and ringing in '53 at the historic Luther Hotel on the Texas Coast. Reporter Sydney Lockhart is there covering the festivities. The celebration turns sour when Sydney finds herself dancing with a dead man. With her fingerprints on the murder weapon and a police chief with his own agenda, Sydney ushers in the New Year behind bars. Soon there is another body, more damning fingerprints, and a crazy Cajun who's been paid to feed Sydney to the alligators. Things get worse when cousin Ruth comes to town with a problem even Sydney can't solve.