Renting their decrepit beach house in downeast Maine seems like a great idea to best pals and part-time sleuths Jacobia Tiptree and Ellie White (Tool and Die, 2004, not reviewed, etc.) until Jake discovers a body in an outbuilding.
Hapless, unpleasant Eugene Dibble has evidently been killed in a drug deal gone wrong. And more skullduggery is clearly afoot. Jake’s tenants, supposedly a coven of witches, turn out to be con artists intent on scamming Marge Cathcart, her nonverbal teen daughter Wanda and ex-cop Jenna Durrell, who’s writing an exposé of the scammers. When Wanda vanishes after the murder, the police chief, up to his neck in other cases, asks Jake to look for the missing girl. Jake is busy as usual trying to keep her own house, dating back to 1823, from falling down, worrying about her son Sam, a recovering substance abuser, and dealing with her ex, a brain surgeon who’s always dropping in for a meal. Jake and Ellie are pretty sure Wanda is with animal-loving recluse Mac Rickert and fear the worst. When Mac takes Wanda’s pills from Jake and dumps her in the freezing water, their suspicions are confirmed. More deaths occur before Jake and Ellie, aided by Jake’s long-suffering husband Wade, manage to survive a murderous attack and solve the mystery.
Reliable entertainment for fans who enjoy nooks, crannies, subplots and carpentry tips.