Native-American artifacts, a dead body and suspicious visitors add up to a haunting case.
Rose Franklin has been living and working at Shady Grove since she helped solve a murder at the Mississippi River site (Down by the Riverside, 2006). One morning she comes on the body of a Native American man in his trashed trailer. Although she reports her discovery to Sheriff Montgomery, something keeps her from showing him the silver and turquoise bracelet she found in the grass outside. A late-night trip to the camping area to return the bracelet leads to a dangerous adventure. When two men arrive, Rose hides in a cubby inside the trailer, only to be driven away. After sleeping on what feels like a ladder, she awakens alone in Oklahoma, steals back the truck and camper and calls Montgomery for help as she heads back to West Memphis. She’s saved from a man pretending to be a highway patrolman by the arrival of the real police, but Montgomery views her story askance. Meanwhile, Rose is dealing with a visit from her ex, who wants her to go back to North Carolina and visit her abusive, dying father. Though Montgomery warns her to stop sleuthing, she can’t let go. By helping to solve the case, she resolves her ambivalent feelings toward her father.
The depth of Rose’s character lifts her second case above the average cozy.