Meier dips her toes into the issues du jour as opioid addiction and white supremacy invade Tinker’s Cove.
While training for the Turkey Trot 5K along Blueberry Pond, local reporter Lucy Stone (British Manor Murder, 2016, etc.) discovers the body of lovely, blonde Alison Franklin, who appears to have died after accidentally falling through the ice. The subsequent drug arrest of three Mexicans, however, ignites a firestorm as rumors spread that Alison was high on opioids supplied by undocumented immigrants. Signs touting America for Americans spring up across the rural landscape, paid for by Alison’s father, Trump look-alike Ed Franklin. The multimillionaire, whose ostentatious mansion and pregnant young trophy wife once made tongues wag and heads shake across Tinker’s Cove, has now become a populist hero, especially to the residents who want to stop television chef Rey Rodriguez—who patiently explains that his ancestors are from Spain, not Mexico, every chance he gets—from opening a high-end restaurant on the site of the defunct Olde Irish Pub. Franklin tries to use his clout at a town council meeting, where he explains, “When one Mexican moves in you get a lot more. They’re like mice.” Next thing you know, someone’s shot a hole through Franklin’s skull as he drives down the street in his oversized SUV. Now Lucy’s had enough. She needs to find out who’s targeting the Franklin family before her town tears itself apart.
Unlike the Public Theater’s assassination of Julius Caesar, Meier’s offing of a Trump avatar may fly under the radar. The dots between drugs, immigrants, and murder just can’t be connected neatly enough to qualify this entry as either old-fashioned puzzle or contemporary social commentary.