A California paralegal gets more that she bargained for when she travels to New England for a surprise family reunion.
Four months after her father’s death, Odelia Grey (Booby Trap, 2009, etc.) gets an upsetting 50th birthday present: a cardboard box of Dad’s mementos containing an envelope addressed to him by his ex-wife, the mother who walked out on Odelia when she was 16 and is now living in New England under the name Grace Littlejohn. Urged by husband Greg, Odelia flies to Holmesbury, Mass., where she finds Grace kneeling beside a dead body in the middle of a corn maze at the Autumn Fair. Phoning the police just complicates Odelia’s life. The first officer on the scene is Grady Littlejohn, Grace’s younger son and Odelia’s younger brother, and the chief of police is Clark Littlejohn, Grace’s older son and Odelia’s older brother. Worried Greg, who knows that sorting out this family tree will take brains, summons fugitive criminal mastermind Willie Proctor to Holmesbury. But even Willie’s shrewd mind can’t protect Odelia from Buster and Clem Brown, whose produce-stand drug business is seriously disrupted by her sleuthing. As the body count rises, Grace stonewalls, and Odelia has to figure out whom her not-very-maternal mom loves enough to protect.
A trip to the East Coast blows a refreshing fall breeze through Odelia’s fifth. So does the switch of focus from workplace woes to family drama.