Laura Michaels—a graduate student at Oklahoma's School of Social Work and part-time group leader at the Timberdale Retirement Center—is upset when one of her favorite patients, Cora, dies suddenly during the night, a jar of Ben-Gay at her side. When two more old people die, and when it becomes clear that each of the three victims had only one thing in common—a pain-racked future from a fatal disease—Laura begins snooping. Meanwhile, she drops one boyfriend, acquires another—assistant deputy Lassister—and has her footsteps dogged by mystery-reading retiree Maude Thuringer, who's thrilled to bits to try her hand at solving a real-life crime. The avaricious Center manager will fall under suspicion, as will several residents and staff members, but Laura must suffer through a Center talent show/costume party and a villain-induced concussion before the poorly motivated perpetrator is brought to justice. Wooden and predictable. The pseudonymous Miles—``a best- selling thriller writer who always wanted to write cozies''—is working on a Laura/Maude sequel.