Literary agent Jane Stuart (Hanging Hannah, 2000, etc.) has just been getting her life back together after the traffic-accident death of her husband Kenneth. Now her omnicompetent housekeeper Florence has her household running like a top, providing tasty meals with a Trinidad twist and keeping young Master Nicholas on the mark in school and at home. Her business is flourishing, with editors tripping over each other to bid on incipient bestsellers like The Blue Palindrome. Her new beau, police detective Stanley Greenberg, and her cat Winky provide all the companionship she craves. So when Kenneth's obnoxious cousin Stephanie Townsend decides to leave Boston and relocate to Shady Hills, lured by a job her Wellesley chum Faith Carson's new publishing house, Jane is anything but pleased—especially since she's broken down and booked a well-deserved vacation. For Kenneth's sake, she takes Stephanie in, listening to her narcissistic tirades and giving her moral support when Carson & Hart turns out to be little more than a vanity press. But when Stephanie sees Faith steal a necklace from wealthy matron Lillian Strohman, and then finds Lillian's maid Una stabbed to death, Jane suspects a weak publication list is the least of Carson & Hart's problems. Worse yet, the day of Jane's departure for Antigua, inconsiderate Stephanie finally gets herself stabbed to death and shoved in a dumpster, imperiling Jane's long-awaited Caribbean adventure. Luckily—and thanks in part to the adorable Winky—a confession is mere hours away.
Perhaps the most egregious yet of the recent spate of alleged mysteries that bury detection in a morass of domestic detail.