Determined to avenge an attack on her uncle, a photographer turns investigator in this character-rich whodunit and whydunit.
Lilly Hawkins’ job as chief photographer for the Bakersfield KJAY news team lets her listen in on the police frequency. She’s at work with her closest friend, 60-something Leanore Drucker, when she hears an alarming call for an ambulance to go to her boyfriend Rod’s place. When Lilly shows up at the house, she’s relieved to see that Rod is okay but is horrified by the news that her Uncle Bud has been shot. While she’s had her share of ups and downs, Uncle Bud’s been there through them all as Lilly’s reliable surrogate parent, and Lilly knows exactly what she has to do. Ignoring Rod’s insistence that she stay with Bud at the hospital to see what the rounds of emergency surgery bring, Lilly grabs her station news van to investigate. Her first stop is the home of Leland Warner, with whom she’s already had too many run-ins. There, Lilly finds that Leland is convalescing, supervised by his sister, Erabelle, and his son, Junior, a not-so-pleasant chip off the old block. Although the Warners do their best to stop her in her tracks, Lilly’s nose for news tells her there’s something more, and she won’t stop until she finds the truth.
Fans of McFarland’s series (A Bad Day’s Work, 2010, etc.) will be shocked at the involvement of Uncle Bud. It’s hard when a mystery hits so close to home.