Benni Harper's first mistake as curator of the Josiah Sinclair Folk Art Museum is letting Marla Chenier use the pottery wheel in the museum after closing hours; that's what sets Marla up to get killed. Benni's second mistake, as her cousin Rita's sometime landlady, is to keep mum about seeing Rita leaving the museum just before Marla's body was discovered; that sets Benni herself up for a running battle with acting police chief Gabe Ortiz. Luckily, the mistakes don't matter: Marla's appetite for blackmail and other women's husbands would have gotten her killed one place or another, and Ortiz overcomes his hostility toward Benni long enough to ignite a very different kind of relationship--ignoring the fact that Benni's still mourning her husband Jack, victim of a fatal car crash only nine months before. Only Benni's grief, in fact, excuses her from not solving the low-grade mystery of her debut novel a lot sooner. Underneath the sadness, though, she's loose, friendly, and bright. Here's hoping we get to see more of her when she's not under such a cloud.