Harry Zach, ex-reporter Samantha Adams's boyfriend (The King is Dead, etc.), has done her wrong, so Sam drives from Atlanta to Hot Springs, Arkansas, hoping to soothe her broken heart in the company of old pal Kitty Lee, at a prenuptial party given by mutual friend Jinx Watson. After winning a million, tax-free, in the Texas lottery, Jinx is about to marry supposedly rich Speed McKay, her third. As she nears her destination, Sam finds comfort in her stop at Gas `N Grub, owned by Olive Adair, a motherly ex-hooker, grandma to handsome Bobby. He's just out of jail after an attack on fascistic local sheriff Archie Blackshears, whose daughter Cynthia Bobby adores. As it turns out, bride-to-be Jinx's mother is Olive's best friend and Olive is also to be a guest at the party. She never shows--and neither does the prospective bridegroom. Sam becomes headily involved in the solving of both disappearances, and a lot more, in a twisting, turning story that defies synopsis but produces a bumper crop of colorful characters, most of them working some kind of scam. A high, wide, and handsome romp--occasionally tinged by melancholy--through a regional subculture brought to vivid life by an author who dares more and gets better with each outing.