Widowed writer and sometime sleuth Elsie MacBean investigates a murder and spots a legend.
Her friend Sheriff Skip Cassidy and her daughter Nona have treated Elsie to a 50th birthday dinner cruise aboard the Dixie Queen, a paddle-wheeler plying Lake Tahoe’s beautiful waters. At a nearby table they see an older man and his much younger wife Ivy arguing in front of his disgruntled family. After Ivy Diggs goes overboard, Elsie, noticing that a steak knife is missing, suspects foul play. But she can’t give the mystery her full attention because she’s writing an article for the Tahoe Tattler on Crispin Blayne, a sexy Brit studying Tahoe’s plankton who’s enlarged his study to include a large fissure on the lake bottom. Tales of Tahoe Tessie, a local relative of the Loch Ness monster, have excited generations of Tahoe tourists. When Cris takes Elsie down in his little submarine, she gets a glimpse of something too large to be a fish and begins to buy into the legend. Approached by a disguised Ivy, very much alive and in hiding, Elsie agrees to hunt for her attacker while still on the trail of Tessie. Her beloved basset hound, Cruiser, who’s rescued Elsie more than once, does so again when Elsie noses out the truth about a ruthless killer and tantalizing glimpses of Tahoe’s famous inhabitant.
Despite the transparent mystery, Beanie and Cruiser’s third case (Sirius About Murder, 2006, etc.) will charm cozy fans who love dogs.