A widow’s efforts to start an inquiry agency get off to a rousing start.
Gertie Johnson lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, an area largely populated by gun-toting folks none too fond of the government. Figuring they need freelance help, Gertie buys the sheriff’s old police truck at an auction, adds “THE TROUBLE BUSTERS” to the door, packs her stun gun and is ready for action, though she has no driver’s license or registration. Soon, however, a case finds her. Shortly after Gertie’s Milwaukee grandson Little Donny, a stripling of 280 pounds, arrives to hunt bear, he disappears, leaving a murdered Department of Natural Resources agent at his bear-baiting site. Even Gertie’s son Blaze, the local sheriff, thinks Donny’s guilty, especially after a drunk is also found dead in the woods, shot by arrows covered with Little Donny’s fingerprints. It’s up to Gertie, her madcap sidekicks Cora Mae and Kitty and the recently acquired Fred, a retired police dog, to hunt down the killer. As the madcap amateurs careen around the countryside looking for raptor raisers, Gertie’s new job as a census taker allows her to get her foot in lots of doors, some of which shelter suspicious characters with shotguns. Intrepid Gertie soldiers on until she discovers the truth and saves Little Donny.
Baker (Murder Passes the Buck, 2006, etc.) spins a mildly amusing mystery full of clichéd characters.