A fancy shmancy New Year’s Eve party proves a wild ride for a couple of wannabe private eyes.
Waking up in a strange room with a splitting headache, a handcuff on her ankle, and fur-clad Freddie Ng alongside her in bed, Erica Bloom tries to recall what happened the night before. Ever since her return to New Hampshire, Erica’s been accidentally involved in solving crazy mysteries (Snowed in with Murder, 2017, etc.). No wonder she and Freddie, her BFF, are trying to start up Otter Lake Security with Rhonda Cooke, the only one of them with the credentials to get a license. As Erica’s memory slowly returns, she recalls being all dressed up but not very happy to be attending a party at the mansion of wealthy architect Matthew Masterson because she’d have to face drop-dead-gorgeous Sheriff Grady Forrester, the love of her life, who dumped her for lovely, sweet Candace Carmichael. Freddie’s other escort, Stanley, a French bulldog he pretends to dislike, was poisoned by a spilled drink he lapped off the floor—Candace’s drink. Is someone trying to kill Candace? She’s a lot more popular than the real estate company she works for, which snaps up every house that comes on the market. (That’s why Erica is still living with her mother, an aging hippie.) Luckily, a veterinarian attending the party treats Stanley, and a doctor among the guests treats Candace, who recovers enough to escape her minders and almost get gassed to death in the boathouse. Since she and Grady seem to have called it quits, hope blooms in Erica’s heart. If she’s to restore their relationship, however, she and Freddie must figure out who’s trying to kill Candace before the rumor mill starts blaming Grady.
Wallace’s madcap third is frequently confusing but also very funny as the often hapless detectives try their best to stop a murder.