As you'd expect, murder is the least of Charlie Greene's problems when she drops everything at her literary agency in L.A. and rushes back to Boulder with her daughter Libby to be at the side of Edwina Greene, the mother who never even told her that she had breast cancer. Edwina's friend and neighbor Reynelda Goff presses an unpublishable historical mystery on Charlie; Charlie's star author, still doing time in Folsom, acts as if he's going to fly the coop to another agent; and Edwina reveals she's taken advantage of her mastectomy to schedule some elective surgery at the same time. Someone in the neighborhood seems to be setting fires in the nearby mountains, cutting up cats, and killing deer in Columbia Cemetery, where Libby was conceived one memorably forgettable evening. All this, plus the murder of another neighbor, Andy Tollerude, whose body Charlie finds in the grave of legendary local son Tom Horn (two more homicides will follow). Squired by former fumbling teen Kenny Eisenburg, now a sexy cop giving visiting Hollywood hunk Mitch Hilsten a run for his money, Charlie ties the killings in to a sacrificial blood cult (!) that, as still another neighbor sagely remarks, ""is not good for property values."" The kitchen-sink plotting makes Charlie's fourth (Murder in a Hot Flash, 1995, etc.) as busy, dizzy, and ultimately wearying as a real-life visit home. Count your blessings.