Drilling for natural gas gets a geologist in deep trouble when she finds a body near the drill site.
Getting treed by a feral hog wasn’t on Cleo Cooper’s agenda when she agreed to serve as consulting geologist for Greenlite Energy’s search for natural gas on the Lauderbach Dairy Farm. Even lower on her priority list is to come upon a body in the woods on her way back to the crew. When Cleo’s longtime nemesis, Lee County Sheriff Clyde Stuckey, the man who locked up her old man back in the day, is called in to investigate, Cleo wishes she could leave the past in the past. The sheriff has other ideas that include pinning the murder on Cleo. Luckily for her, the sheriff’s detective, Sgt. Chris Bryant, decides to be on her side, even if it’s only because he wants the chance to sweet-talk her. Little does he know that Cleo’s already spoken for. She’s just weeks from remarrying her ex-husband, Bud, whose birth certificate says he’s Franklin Donovan Cooper IV. Even if she were interested in Chris, he’s closer in age to her kids than to her. Since his support isn’t enough to get Cleo cleared for certain, a little detective work is in order to establish who had reason to kill someone who seems to have been a friendly college kid. Given the controversy over gas drilling, Cleo’s worried there might be an environmental angle to the crime. But when she finds a well-preserved fossil she dubs “Cecil,” she thinks she’s found the real motive.
Mims’ heroine (Trusting Viktor, 2014, etc.) and supporting cast flesh out a rich crew of characters, although Cecil’s prominence in the title is a bit too much of a spoiler.