The lights go out for the star attraction at a writers’ workshop.
Even though they know he’s no Mr. Chips, organizers of the northwoods Wisconsin writers’ retreat expect bestselling mystery author Fletcher Downs at least to go through the motions. Unfazed by their assumptions, the super-self-involved Downs concentrates on filling his pockets with his stipend and his bed with willing females, and then, at the end of two weeks, blowing Shepherdstown after expending as little pedagogical energy as possible. So when he doesn’t appear for class, few of his pupils rue his absence or become alarmed when it’s announced that he has been sidelined by homicide. For Monona Quinn, however, the situation is somewhat charged, since this is the fourth time she has been close at hand to murder most foul. Embarrassed at the string of cases she has cracked, Monona tries at first to resist the call of her inner Nancy Drew, but “poking around is her nature.” Clearly, the student body alone provides her with an ample suspect list. In addition, tiny Shepherdstown offers a mother lode of secrets, lies and intriguing murder motives. All of which Monona discovers when, in due course, she sets to poking around.
Amiable Monona (Twin Killing, 2007, etc.) is every bit as nosy as a good cozy heroine should be.