Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy, was he?
Old Fuzzy, a great yarn-spinner at the tavern owned by yard-sale devotee Jane Wheel’s parents, can’t sell the dirt from his own farm because someone has called the authorities claiming there are old bones sprinkled under it. Will Jane and her geologist husband Charley figure out what the bones were and who tipped off the feds, leaving him in peace to sell his fine-farming dirt? Camping overnight in Fuzzy’s field, Jane, Charley, and their son Nick are nearby when someone empties a .22 into reporter/farmer John Sullivan and plops old cat bones into his dead lap. While Charley and Nick investigate the bones, Jane turns to Detective Oh, her murder mentor, to figure out why Sullivan was in the field wearing a K3 real-estate blazer. With little help from him or her best friend Tim, who’s busy organizing the largest garage sale in Illinois, Jane’s soon stalking the cornfields, bumping into a pair of con men eager to turn Kankakee into a retro environment/theme park, and snooping on Fuzzy and his wife Lula. Her whirlwind of activity leaves Jane little time for yard sales until the weekend of Tim’s whole-town event, when she discovers a trove of buried treasure secreted years ago by her mother Nellie.
Lacks the effervescence and humor—not to mention the garage-sale lore and Tim’s retorts—of Jane’s previous adventures (The Wrong Stuff, 2003, etc.). But Fiffer’s plotting is on the upswing.