A Nashville travel agent’s nosiness may be the death of her.
When Campbell Hale learns that her boyfriend, lawyer Doug Elliott, is repossessing some paintings from the wife of country music legend Jake Miller, she begs to go along. Doug’s brother, Ken, owns an art gallery, and Jake’s widow, Hazel Miller, has not paid for pictures she bought and is willing to return them. At the mansion, Campbell, enthralled by all the memorabilia, wanders off while Doug is loading paintings and accidentally opens the door to Hazel’s bedroom. As they depart, Hazel’s personal assistant, George Lewis, is refusing entry to a very angry young man. When Hazel is found dead in bed that evening, gossip suggests pills and booze as the cause. When police detective Sam Davis, who’s investigating Hazel’s death as a possible murder, comes to interview Campbell, she admits to opening the bedroom door and seeing a huddled figure in the bed. Although she’s not a suspect, Campbell just can’t keep herself from nosing around for clues despite dire warnings from Doug, who becomes more and more distant as she continues to investigate. The angry young man turns out to be Jake’s grandson, whose mother, adopted by the couple, is actually Jake’s natural daughter by a country music star who was just starting her career when her daughter was born and was forced to give her up. As Doug continues to sulk over her sleuthing, Campbell develops a more than professional interest in Davis. After George Lewis becomes the next victim, Campbell gets threats warning her to mind her business. But she keeps turning up more information that poses a threat to the unknown killer.
Peden’s debut paints a matter-of-fact picture of the city that lives for music. Her heroine is a typical cozy sleuth, bright and gutsy but also rather foolhardy as she stumbles in and out of dangerous situations while solving a murder whose solution many readers will spot ahead of her.