For the sake of her nephew, Elizabeth has assumed the identity of her dead sister, Ellen Marie. She arrives at the grand Louisiana plantation of Ellen Marie's late husband, wearing the traditional black widow's weeds and carrying her infant nephew, Joseph. She is determined that the boy will reach maturity and inherit his rightful fortune. Luckily, the family at Oak Shade does not suspect that they are harboring an imposter in their midst. However, they are less than welcoming, treating her with frosty politeness. More disturbing are the unusual accidents that seem to be following in her wake, as if planned for her. And now, the dark creole Bernard Delacroix seems to be seeing through her assumed persona, right into her soul. What he also sees is that the "widow" is desperate for his attentions.