A folklorist is accused of murder.
Fever Devilin, who retreated to the Georgia mountains when his university shut down his Department of Folklore, is at loose ends. His fiancée’s out of town, and he has no research project in the works. When wealthy Atlantan Carl Schultz calls and asks his help in establishing the provenance of a silver medallion his father bought from a mountain widow 20 years ago, Fever invites him up to his cabin and promptly identifies the coin as depicting the fabled St. Elian at the well in Wales. What’s the connection between the medallion and the other two items Schultz’s father bought at that auction—a portrait by a 19th-century landscape artist, and a Cherokee artifact—with Fever’s family tree? Fever and his friend, Shakespearean professor Winton Andrews, soon must deal with a corpse in Fever’s living room, a shady lawyer trying to dupe them, a lunatic whacking heads with a cricket bat and a ghostly wraith in an aubergine dress wafting through the Barnsley Gardens. The clues stretch from Welsh silver mines to an Appalachian mansion to the Trail of Tears left by the Cherokees as they were displaced from Georgia to Oklahoma.
An intricately nuanced transgenerational saga rendered with the panache of a master southern storyteller. DePoy (A Minister’s Ghost, 2005, etc.) clearly loves southern cooking, southern mountain folk and the wryly acerbic sniping of best friends.