Rose Baker is both shocked and infuriated to find out that her brother Judd has been the ringleader of a conspiracy to promote political assassinations over the years. These assassinations were of Rose's political idols. In the violent argument that ensues, Judd falls and is fatally injured. Certain that his dozen co-conspirators will never face the justice they deserve, she hatches a plan to make sure that they do.Traveling the four corners of the country, she takes them out one by one. Always a step ahead of the conspirators and the authorities who would never suspect a seventy year old well-dressed woman to be involved in such acts, they have no idea who to look for. Along the way, Rose begins to suspect that the conspiracy is much deeper than the thirteen men and decides to pursue it to wherever it leads her.FBI detectives Chuck and Cathy who picked up on the murderous rampage midway through Rose's march across the country are slow to put the pieces together but finally catch up with her near the end. Baker's Dozen is about political hatred and retribution in the extreme and how idealistic beliefs can permanently distort one's perspective regardless of which side is involved.
After a leisurely breakfast at a pancake house down the street, she walked to a subway station and rode to lower Manhattan where Jeb worked. She arrived early, so she spent a half hour window shopping at the fine stores that lined Fifth Avenue. At exactly five minutes to twelve she entered the building and rode the elevator up to the thirty-third floor. Turning right as she left the elevator, she walked down a wide hallway to the end where upholstered benches lined both sides of the massive entry to the brokerage firm that Jeb owned. A man was seated on one of the benches typing on a notebook. She sat on the end of one bench and looked at her watch. Another five minutes, she thought as she smiled at the man who looked up for a second, a disinterested expression on his face. He went immediately back to his notebook. At ten after, Rose looked at her watch and got up, walked halfway up the main hall and disappeared down a narrow hallway marked private. On the left was an unmarked door which she tried. It was unlocked as usual so his lackeys could come in to pamper him about halfway through his routine. She carefully opened the door, reached her hand into the pocket with the gun, put her head inside and looked around. Seeing nothing, she proceeded past some exercise equipment to a large wooden door with a latch on it. She removed the gun and held it behind her, then slowly opened the door.
"I thought I told you twelve thir...." came Jeb's raspy voice, stopping when he recognized Rose's face.
"Rose...." he said loudly. "What on earth are you doing here....."
"Came to settle up the account," she said coolly.
"Account..... what account?" he sputtered, tugging on the towel he had pulled around himself when the door started to open.
"Baker's dozen," she said, finally using the term that she had thought of as Judd lay dead next to the fireplace toolset.
"Baker's what?" he half laughed. "The thirteen of you conservative conspirators."
"Conspirators.....oh my god...." his face went ashen and his eyes narrowed.
"You....... Seattle......Lopez….it was you....." his voice nearly squeaking in terror.
"Yes," she nodded as she pulled the gun around and aimed it at his forehead.
His eyes were now wide and he was past the point of being able to speak. He just shook his head, his eyes pleading. Then he shut his eyes. That's when Rose pulled the trigger and he jerked backward against the wooden slats. He then slumped forward into a heap on the floor, the white towel red with blood that was gushing from his face. She turned quickly and walked out. She closed the door and retraced her steps out into the narrow hallway and then out into the larger hall, looking back toward the benches that were now empty. She smiled in mild surprise when she saw that, then strode calmly to the elevators and rode down to the street level. No witnesses she shrugged. She went out onto the crowded sidewalk and back to the subway station.