All but one of the corpses stand up to take a bow at the end of the Civil War battle reenactment that climaxes the Snellen Museum's annual Pea Festival. But since the one corpse who doesn't is museum director Regina Price Palmer, stirring times are ahead for museum volunteer Jane Jeffry and her best bud, Shelley Nowack. Emboldened by her romantic attachment to Detective Mel VanDyne of the Chicago police force, and by her success in seven paperback mysteries, Jane sticks her nose into the nooks and crannies of the museum and its board, and finds that Caspar Snellen, covetous rival heir of late Pea King heiress and museum angel Miss Daisy Snellen, isn't the only person who didn't like Regina Palmer, or who had something to hide. Somewhere beneath the decorous breasts of Caspar's sister Georgia, toy boy assistant director Derek Delano, publicity director Lisa Quigley, museum attorney Tom (""Jumper"") Cable, Daisy's old friend Babs McDonald, and Regina's ingenuous secretary Sharlene Lloyd beat the hearts of an unprincipled seducer, an embezzler, a spouse-killer, and, yes, a double murderer who'll think nothing of dispatching a second victim by smothering him with peas. Jane, a widowed homemaker who brightens her hardcover debut by baking a mean tuna casserole and worrying about freezer burn, dispenses a tireless cheer that'll make like-minded readers forget how lightweight the final revelation is, and how remote from the suspicions that have been so generously distributed.