Purple Sage is a hundred, and people from all over Texas and lesser parts of the globe are coming to help Jolie Wyatt (KSGE news radio) and her rancher husband Matt (actually her once and future husband, since they haven't quite gotten around to retying the knot) celebrate. Unfortunately, those people include not only Jolie's distant in-laws, but Cecily Wyatt, Matt's charming British ex, and somebody who ambushes Centennial Celebration chairwoman Vera Meece at nearby Camp John Seybold, the notorious wartime internship site, and shoots her dead. Bossy Vera is no great loss, but the killer also puts Sheriff Mac Donelly in the hospital, catapulting nincompoop deputy Ed Presnell into the law-officer's chair, from which he rises only to arrest first Matt, then Jolie, and tail both of them around town when they're sprung from the hoosegow--seriously incommoding Jolie's search for the mystery man, ""a gentleman and an officer,"" Vera said she was going to meet as she left for her fatal rendezvous at Camp John Seybold. Jolie's third case (Dust Devils of the Purple Sage, 1995, etc.) is hands-down her best, with a clever plot, a surprising and plausible killer, and Jolie's standby good humor smoothing the bumps between alarums and excursions--though by the time it's all over, you'll swear you've met every single one of the estimated 22,400 visitors to the Purple Sage Centennial.