Suburban New Jersey is usually such a peaceful place. So why is Maggie Summer getting threatening calls and letters?
A history professor and antique-print dealer, Maggie (Shadows on the Ivy, 2004, etc.) is overloaded with work as she plans an antique show to benefit Our World Our Children, a local adoption agency. Maggie is agonizing over the decision of whether to adopt a child herself as she waits for her boyfriend Will Brewer, who knows he doesn’t want children, to arrive for the show. Things start to go wrong when OWOC director Carole Drummond receives a letter threatening sabotage if the show isn’t cancelled. An adopted teenager who disappears after his mother is shot in the hip makes a good suspect until his body is found in the woods. Initially the campus and town police can’t do much to help protect the show, but once Maggie’s van blows up in the parking lot, the police come running. The most likely suspects include three adopted teenagers with major issues to resolve, a college secretary with a police record, Will, Maggie and Al Stivali, head of college security. When the organizers refuse to be dissuaded by threats, the show goes on and disaster is only narrowly averted before the culprit is caught.
An excellent primer on how to organize an antique show, but a damp squib in the mystery department.