A fourth episode in this series of low-keyed mysteries starring Elizabeth Elliot, an elderly Quaker widow from Cambridge, Mass. (Quaker Testimony, 1996, etc.). Here, Elizabeth has flown to Seattle to meet Reba Nichols, her lifelong friend from college days. The two are staying at the house of Reba's deceased parents in Richland, on land bordering the old Hanford nuclear site, which produced plutonium during WW II and still employs some locals. Reba is reluctant to sell her inherited property, convinced that people in the area are suffering from radioactive poisoning. She plans to take soil and water samples for expert analysis before confronting government authorities. With the help of Elizabeth, Reba gathers her samples, moving at one point onto the Hanford site--where she's stopped by security guards and taken away in a jeep. Elizabeth drives back to the town, expecting to meet Reba there after her release. Instead, her friend's body is found shot to death outside her house, and Al Cartwright, one of the guards, denies ever seeing her. Elizabeth gets little assistance from Sheriff Tomlinson but strong support from Reba's young friend Dr. Meghan Zillain--as determined as Elizabeth is to find Reba's killer . . . a mission finally accomplished with a little help from Meghan's trusty dog Panda. A straightforward look at a hardscrabble community with a real-life problem, its momentum slowed by Elizabeth's preachy musings and a flabby, not-so-convincing solution. Still, mildly entertaining.