A small-town Tennessee sheriff has his hands full with murder, arson and his mother’s ramp festival.
Park County sheriff Tony Abernathy and his wife, Theo, are coping with newborn twin daughters, Theo’s quilt store and now the Ramp Festival, which will attract a large crowd, including all the local troublemakers. Despite the overwhelming smell of ramps, the festival seems to be a huge success. The participants are enjoying watching working recreations of ancient weapons like the trebuchet, until a potato hits and apparently kills much-hated local game warden Harrison Ragsdale. A quick look from a doctor, however, establishes that the cause of death is not the potato. Ragsdale had a wooden stake in his neck and evidence of a severe allergic reaction. Because Ragsdale was widely considered guilty of killing several people’s pets, there is a plethora of suspects. In addition, an arsonist has burned down the home of a local couple, and a body found in the garage turns out to be that of one of the Farquhar brothers, who are responsible for much of the area’s criminal activity. Theo, who picks up loads of gossip at her store, is always eager to help Tony solve his cases. This one promises to be more difficult than most.
Like Tony’s earlier cases (Murder By Music, 2011, etc.), this one is more interesting for its eclectic characters than its meandering plot. Quilt fans will welcome the included pattern for a mystery quilt.