The sheriff of Pine County, Tenn., has a nose for crime.
When cookbook author Mattie Carrington, a local celebrity, rents a lakeside cottage to finish her latest tome, Sheriff Cas Larkin is uneasy without really knowing why. Mattie’s cousins, two retired schoolteachers who are friends of Cas and his matchmaking wife Connie, rope them into helping haul Mattie’s possessions to the cabin. They can see that Mattie’s much younger sister Katie is nervous about her being there alone with no transportation, but Katie’s ever-helpful boyfriend, exterminator Eugene Austin, offers to drop in when he’s in the area doing his pest-control jobs. At first the Larkins’ interests are firmly domestic, even if they focus outside their own hearth and home. Connie, busy trying to arrange a romance between the local librarian, a gal with the gift of second sight, and the county’s young and handsome judge, skirmishes with Cas, who’s always trying to keep her matchmaking in check. When Mattie falls ill with stomach problems, her relatives are concerned. It’s not until she’s taken to the hospital on the verge of death that Cas steps in and, with help from his network of friends, hunts down a clever killer.
Too many subplots and not enough mystery make this a lackluster effort from Griffey (The Nelson Scandal, 2006, etc.).