A solid Michigan family business cracks when an employee is murdered.
Thirty-one-year-old divorcée Sasha Silverman and her younger sister, Maddie, manage the Silver Bear Shop and Factory for their retired parents with help from their Uncle Ross. The fly in the ointment is Will Taylor, their sales rep, who wants to move production to China. Sasha is shocked to hear that her parents are considering it. Uncle Ross is furious, and the employees are far from happy to think their jobs may be in danger. When the sisters find Taylor dead in the shop, stuffed like a teddy bear, their uncle is an obvious suspect. The sisters and Ross were not the only people unhappy with Taylor. His wife, Carolyn, who owns the Holly Jolly Christmas shop, recently learned her husband was cheating and was roaring drunk in a local tavern the night he died. Sasha is so distraught when she’s unable to reach her parents that she resorts to calling her ex-husband, Flynn Hanson, who lives near them in Florida. She and Maddie finally learn that their father is in the hospital in New Jersey with double pneumonia after falling ill at a trade show. Small-town Silver Hollow doesn’t have a big police force, so the county sends in homicide detective Mason, who warns Sasha not to play detective, a directive she proceeds to ignore. Sasha, whose many years in town have given her many contacts, is sure she can learn things Mason can’t. She discovers that Taylor was even worse than she thought, involved in more than one dirty business deal. Now she just needs to figure out which of his many enemies did him in.
The first in a new series features a complex plot awash in red herrings, a perky heroine whose many problems are certain to blossom in future installments, and everything you ever wanted to know about teddy bears.