Can a 50-year-old secret ruin an aspiring politician’s campaign?
Amy Webber, Sunshine Fields’ best friend and boss at the Taylorsford Public Library in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is engaged to Richard Muir, dancer, choreographer, teacher, and her next-door neighbor. Amy wants the wedding to be simple, but Richard’s mother is determined that it will be a tasteful extravaganza. Meanwhile, Sunny’s campaign for mayor is rudely interrupted when a skeleton is found on her grandparents’ farm. P.J. and Carol Fields run Vista View as an organic farm, but for a while in the 1960s, it was a commune housing a motley crew of people with varying drug habits. Amy, whose research skills have helped the police solve several murders (Past Due for Murder, 2019, etc.), finds a 1965 newspaper article mentioning the disappearance of Jeremy Adams, a talented musician who’d lived on the commune but left to pursue his career. Chief Deputy Brad Tucker, Sunny’s ex-boyfriend, asks Amy to do a little more research but to keep it quiet since the case could involve Sunny’s grandparents, who Amy’s sure are hiding information. Once they’ve given Amy a list of all the former commune members, she starts digging into their histories. One of them recently died in what seems to have been an accident. When the skeleton is identified as Adams’, reporters stake out the Fieldses, but after a rough start, Sunny, encouraged by Amy, makes friends with handsome Daniel Dane, an investigative reporter digging deep into the past because his own aunt went missing from the area in 1964. When another commune alumnus is shot dead, Amy redoubles her efforts, searching the past for clues. A little help from her friends, including a former drug dealer who helped keep the commune mellow, sets her on the right track, prompting dire warnings from the killer.
Historical research wins out over romance and mystery in this pleasant cozy.