A first mystery whose main charm lies in the yuppie accouterments (plaid wool neckties, earthenware jam pots, etc.) that are offered through the Country Cousins Christmas catalogue. One of the order-takers at the store's headquarters in Tinker's Cove, Maine, is chatty, snoopy Lucy Stone, who, on her break, discovers co-owner Sam Miller dead in the parking lot. Suicide or murder? Officer Culpepper and Lucy think a killer may have been hired. so they place ads in Soldier of Fortune-like magazines. When Culpepper is waylaid, ending up comatose in the hospital, Lucy investigates on her own--and is most disgruntled when her first choice for murderer, the officious customer-service manager, has an alibi. But what about Sam's younger brother, who now owns all of Country Cousins? Or Sam's snobby wife Marcia, who may have been having an affair? Lucy suspects everyone, even the minister and his arty wife, but eventually accosts the guilty at Culpepper's bedside. Quaint Maine types dart in and out of the plot's holes, shedding mittens and clichÇs as they go. A cute venue but a flat delivery.