Life in a small Maine coastal town is disrupted by the advent of People Not Like Us.
Longtime Tinker’s Cove resident Lucy Stone (Birthday Party Murder, 2002, etc.) “wouldn’t mind these new folks if they’d know their place.” But the residents of Fred Stanton’s spanking-new development at the end of Red Top Road simply don’t. Preston Stanton, 18, buzzes the neighbors with his motorcycle. His mother, Mimi, suggests that Lucy’s prize lilacs are obstructing her view of traffic. Divorced mother Frankie LaChance lets her daughter sunbathe on the porch. Ex-businesswoman Chris Cashman has the nerve to suggest that Sue Finch’s Better-Than-Sex brownies have too much fat to include in the Hat and Mittens Fund’s upcoming bake sale. Still, when Lucy discovers Mimi in her kitchen with a knife in her back and a batch of Yummy Pumpkin Kisses burning in the oven, she feels it’s her civic duty to investigate, and to look into the allegations of hazing by members of the local high-school football team—allegations hotly denied by Coach Buck Burkhart, another newcomer who’s become a local hero since the Warriors started winning, and pooh-poohed by School Superintendent Bob Sabin. A second death and some tearful outbursts by her cheerleader daughter Sara confirm Lucy’s conviction that there’s trouble in paradise.
Although a little crisper than earlier entries, Meier’s latest entry still lets small-town banter crowd its mystery into the back pages.