Maggie Summer discovers that no good deed goes unpunished, at least when it comes to supporting undergraduates who are also single parents.
Somerset College trustees Oliver and Dorothy Whitcomb are the primary donors behind an innovative dormitory reserved for single parents. Maggie, who teaches American history at Somerset, enjoys acting as the faculty advisor for Whitcomb House, the Victorian dorm that houses student parents and their young children—and work from Shadows, the antique print business Maggie owns and operates. All goes well until Sarah Anderson, one of the Whitcomb House students, is poisoned at a party given by the Whitcombs. While Sarah lies comatose in the hospital, Maggie must act as guardian for Aura, Sarah’s little daughter. And of course she must investigate. She finds that Dorothy Whitcomb has taken an intense interest in Sarah and Aura; Paul Turk, a new faculty member and old friend of Oliver Whitcomb’s, has also shown an inexplicable interest in the case; and college president Max Hagfield is poised to shut down Whitcomb House altogether. When Sarah’s friend and housemate Tiffany Douglass is also poisoned, Maggie (Shadows on the Coast of Maine, 2003, etc.) sets aside 19th-century American history to look into Sarah and Tiffany’s past and find the poisoner.
A pedestrian outing whose murderer seems a little incredible and whose heroine’s realistic grappling with love and life a bit of a drag.