Amusing debut about a hapless SF writer who tries to teach his wife a little lesson that backfires.
Sarah’s habit of leaving her purse in the grocery cart while she studies the aisles irritates Zack Walker so much that he grabs it, tosses it in the trunk of their car, then waits for her to realize it’s been stolen. But he’s picked the wrong purse from the wrong cart, and when he tries to return it surreptitiously, he bumps into the owner—dead on the floor of her garage: the second dead body he’s found in under a week. The first, discovered on a walk near a pond, belonged to an eco-nerd whom he’d heard fight with the real-estate developer of his new house in Valley Forest Estates, a developer whose secretary now lies moldering in her garage. Things go downhill from there. Zack tries to do good, but troubles pile up. He’s waylaid by a plumber who’s actually the developer’s enforcer, and the neighbors he asks to help, Trixie the accountant and Earl the gardener, have second careers as a hooker and a pot-grower, respectively, and in Earl’s case as something even worse that provokes a far-fetched plot twist convincing Zack to pack up the wife and kids and move back to the city.
The ultimate in Daddy-doesn’t-know-best stories. If the humor wears a bit thin, it’s certainly forgivable in a first effort.