A photojournalist searches for clues to a suspicious death.
Freelance photojournalist Sophie Medina has recently moved from London to Washington with her ex-CIA husband, Nick Canning, who’s off on a trip as a troubleshooter for an oil company. Sophie’s photographing a high-society party thrown by Sen. Ursula Gilberti to celebrate her daughter Yasmin's engagement to Archduke Victor Haupt-von Véssey. Sophie’s friend Brother Kevin, a Franciscan friar well-known for his work on various green projects, is on hand to give the blessing. The conversations range from politics to Kevin’s planned book about gardening and agriculture in Colonial times, and before he leaves, Kevin arranges to meet Sophie at the Tidal Basin the next day, ostensibly to help her with a photo project. There, he tells her that someone's been following him for quite a while, but he gives her no details. After Kevin leaves, Sophie finds a key he may have dropped, but before she can ask him about it, she finds him dead at the foot of a staircase at the monastery. Searching for answers, Sophie discovers that the key is to a locker where Kevin had placed a book on gardening in the Colonial period, a book that turns out to be worth millions. On a trip to England with her wealthy stepfather, she learns more about Kevin’s quest for missing seeds said to have belonged to Thomas Jefferson, some of which may help to cure Alzheimer's disease. Now it’s Sophie who’s being followed. She narrowly escapes death several times before her return to the United States, where she can’t be sure whom to trust.
The second in Crosby’s new series (Multiple Exposure, 2013) is a quick-moving mystery with a wealth of fascinating material on gardening in Colonial times and the value of plants in sustaining life on Earth.