Cross a bicentennial celebration with a family reunion and you’re bound to get unexpected consequences.
In the little town of Ogeechee, Ga., almost everyone is related, making it difficult for Police Chief Henry Huckabee and Officer Trudy Roundtree to find a murderer who’s not a family member. Now the Stubbs clan has gathered in Ogeechee. Those who don’t live in town are staying at Stubbs House, a B&B newly renovated and run by sisters Della and Willie. The reunion is compromised when Kevin Purvis, a Stubbs cousin, sends a college pal to announce he’s eloped with Gretchen Holland, reputed love child of his great uncle, former mayor Julian Stubbs. Trudy is at Stubbs House investigating the disappearance of Aunt Inez’s diamond earrings when Julian takes a deadly tumble down the stairs clutching a framed family tree. Trudy suspects—and the autopsy confirms—it was no accident. A bag full of antiques found in the yard complicates the case. Apart from the usual family jealousies, Trudy also has to deal with her old high-school friend Shawna, Kevin’s sister, hitting on her boyfriend and stirring up stories from the past. Luckily, a little local knowledge goes a long way toward solving the crime.
A tranquil mystery from Berry (Death and the Walking Stick, 2005, etc.), with oodles of down-home charm.