A candidate for the most charming mystery of the year, this debut from the author of the hit play/movie Any Wednesday transplants upscale New Yorkers Merrie and Warren Spencer (retrenching from stock-market mishaps) to Davis Landing, North Carolina, where Merrie's Davis kin and the womenfolk at the garden club call her Merrie Lee and ``do declare'' she oughtn't to fret about Miss Emily up and dying from her pesky broken leg. But Merrie not only frets but wonders whether Miss Emily's beautiful sister Sammy Jo--with the help of her married beau, Luther, of the trashy Tryons--had anything to do with it. Then Sammy Jo simply expires, as does Elvira Lewis, and poor Sarah Taylor is killed by a hunter's arrow. Meanwhile, the community saint, Miss Eulalia (uncomplaining about having to tend to her simple-minded brother, Bubba) is busy ministering herbs and poultices to all; she also seems mighty keen on Merrie Lee drinking her ``blood strengthener.'' After a quick trip to her nonagenarian Aunt May in New York, plus a run-in with the town council, Merrie Lee solves the murders--just in time to host the annual Historic Homes Tour. A delight, amiably skewering both yuppie and southern traditions. Merrie Lee is a winner--and so is this mystery.