A wealthy widow stymies a Texas town by leaving her vast fortune to her dog.
In her day, Honeybelle Hensley had been the toast of Mule Stop, Texas, presiding over University of the Alamo’s football games in a white Stetson and “diamond earrings the size of pinto beans.” Half the town owes their survival to Honeybelle’s free hand with her late husband Hut’s money, earned through the success of Hensley Oil and Gas, which is now run with the help of Hut Junior. So it isn’t surprising that the people of Mule Stop show up in force at Honeybelle’s funeral to give her the send-off such a generous soul deserves. Her family’s farewell is more restrained since Honeybelle and her daughter-in-law, Posie, had recently clashed over the fate of the Lady Bird Johnson Bluebonnet Festival. Honeybelle gets the last laugh when Ten Tennyson, the grandson of her lawyer, Max, reads her will. The bulk of her estate is put in trust for her Texas cattle cur, Miss Ruffles, with bequests of $1 million each to her cook, Mae Mae Bellefontaine, her butler, Mr. Carver, and her secretary, Sunny McKillip, on the condition that they keep the dog safe and healthy for a year. A recent transplant from Ohio, Sunny is already overwhelmed by Texas. When Miss Ruffles disappears and two creepy guys in black suits claim her late mother owed a sizable chunk of change to their boss, Sunny seems ready to high-tail it back to Chagrin Falls. But her determination to reclaim Miss Ruffles, a growing suspicion that her employer did not die a natural death, and a burgeoning attraction to Ten keep Sunny firmly planted in the Lone Star State.
The prairie wind brings a welcome change for Martin, author of the ultra-arch Philadelphia-based Blackbird sisters mysteries, promising a series with real heart in the craziest small town since Maggody, Arkansas.