Murder hits close to home for an unconventional Maine sleuth.
The most contentious question at the Moosetookalook town meeting is whether the hamlet should sell water rights to Merveilleuse International. It seems like an obvious move, but people are concerned about local wells drying up. Liss MacCrimmon Ruskin, who runs the Scottish Emporium and is active in town affairs, has her own opinion. So do her parents, Vi and Mac, who’ve recently returned to the area. Liss' Aunt Margaret is off on a genealogy trip to Ireland (no, not Scotland), and when the two Scotties Liss is petsitting for her kick up a fuss in the yard, her husband, Dan, goes outside and finds a dead man. Chief of Police Sherri Campbell, a friend who’s relied on Liss' keen senses before (Overkilt, 2018, etc.), recognizes that this is a case for dour detective Kelly Cussler of the Maine State Police. Liss has a moment of déjà vu when the dead man reminds her of her father, but the whole family is flabbergasted when fingerprints identify the body as that of Charles Edward MacCrimmon, a private eye living in Florida. Charlie was Mac’s brother, listed as MIA in Vietnam and thought dead for 50 years. When the police discover that Mac was the beneficiary of Charlie’s will, their suspicions prompt Liss and Vi to journey to Florida in search of answers. Why did Charlie return home after so long? Under the floorboards in his house they discover papers hinting that Charlie may have been working for the government and investigating Merveilleuse, providing two possible motives for his death. But Charlie was also pretty wild in his youth, and Liss can’t help wondering if there’s something in his past that got him killed.
Red herrings abound in this charming tale of small-town life and big-time murder.