Tireless Jenny Cain of Port Frederick, Mass. (Confession, 1994, etc.), has quit the directorship of the town's charitable foundation after one battle too many with powerful tycoon Peter Falwell, who also stole her family's generations-old clam cannery. Along with some of the town's smartest women, she's started Judy's Foundation and is going all out to get ready for its first major fund-raisera Halloween Festival. As Jenny waits tensely for the event's crucial insurance coverage to be approved, she and policeman husband Geoffrey Bushfield are distracted by the antics of First Things First, a fringe ecological group headed by cynical ex-reporter Lew Riss. They're protesting possible changes on a nature trail called God's Way that crosses a highway, where hiker Ben Barney was killed soon after a hit-and-run driver fatally struck a seven-year-old. There's more bad news when Jenny's good friends Nellie and Bill Kennedy, who live along the trail, see their huge emporium in townthe Dime Storego up in flames. Unanswered questions aboundwhy the insurance holdup? why can't a detective armed with a license number find the hit-and-run driver? who beat up Jenny and Geof's unofficial ward, David?along with much woman-to-woman soul-searching and a dollop of mysticism. Rambling, unfocused, and overextended: not one of the author's better efforts.