Her cousin Patti McNair's killing seems to shock Callahan Garrity, the PI who doubles as head of the cleaning service House Mouse, out of the saccharine coyness of her debut (Every Crooked Nanny, 1992); even the county homicide cop who's helping out tells her, ""You're a hardheaded bitch, Garrity."" Well, she needs to be, because the cops are treating Patti's death as a routine drive-by shooting; they don't care that she was killed in a part of Atlanta she never drove to, or that her nine-year-old son, Dylan, who was in the car with her, would be a promising witness if only they could get past his hysteria and his long-standing speech impairment. But Callahan, ignoring her family's howls of protest, tries to question Dylan herself, and when Patti's lawyer husband, Bruce, gets an injunction pulling her off Dylan, she decides that he had Patti killed for the insurance and the chance to shack up with the woman over whom Patti had briefly spoken of divorcing him. But then how does Father Mart Covington, rumored to have wanted to leave the priesthood over Patti, fit into the picture? Despite some uncomfortably lighthearted interludes with the House Mouse staff, Callahan shows a much stronger range and presence in this unmystifying mystery.