An innkeeper gets involved in a historical dig and a modern murder.
Julie Ellis and her partner, Hannah Marks, used to hunt down stolen antiques. Now they’re on the run from some very nasty people. It all begins when Julie applies for the job of innkeeper at the Quilt House Inn in the little Missouri town of Straussberg and Hannah agrees to do the cooking. The inn specializes in pretty sedate quilters, but things get considerably livelier when Julie agrees to house historian Daniel Franklin. Daniel’s looking for the remains of The Grand Adventure, a steamboat he believes was buried in a farmer’s field when the river changed its path. Although his interest is historical, there may be treasure involved. The first clue Daniel spots is part of the beam over the fireplace in Hannah’s room. Even after they decipher the code cut into it, they’re still faced with a cryptic message. More problems arise once Daniel starts excavating. First a local lawyer tries to buy the property. When the owner refuses, the equipment is vandalized. Then Daniel’s friend George, the night guard, is murdered. Since the police have fastened on Daniel as the likely killer, Julie forgets about keeping in the background and puts her talents to work investigating. She knows she’s on the right trail when she starts getting threatening messages.
This series kickoff features a touch of romance and some interesting historical tidbits but not much exercise for your own inner sleuth.