A mysterious dark-haired stranger, a treasure map, and a murder present yet another case for a durable amateur sleuth.
Liss Ruskin (The Scottie Barked at Midnight, 2015, etc.) can’t resist buying a copy of the painting Piper to the Laird of Grant at the auction of the Chadwick mansion’s contents. As Liss, who owns the Scottish Emporium of Moosetookalook, Maine, and her friend Sherri, the town’s chief of police, carry the picture to the car, they drop it, and Liss finds what looks like a treasure map hidden inside. The Chadwick family had a reputation as bootleggers, and Liss’ Aunt Margaret discovers evidence that they had family in Canada. So what could be more natural than combining treasure hunting with a chance to buy items for the Scottish Emporium while on a journey to Nova Scotia? The trip turns deadly when they find the body of Orson Bailey, the historian for the town named after the Chadwick family, who had been researching that family's history for the women. When their hotel room is trashed and several items stolen, they wonder if the disturbance has anything to do with the map. Even after their return to Moosetookalook, Liss can’t let the puzzle go, especially after someone apparently searches her house and store. Even after the clues on the map lead them to an empty hiding place, Liss, convinced the murder and the map are connected, soldiers on with help from her friends.
Plenty of small-town atmosphere and deliciously dubious suspects lift this entry above the series average.