Journalist Desiree Turner
has returned to her roots in Verbena, California, where she
is helping to run her great-grandfather's funeral parlor.
After all, an on-air journalist can't very well stay on-air
after making a huge mistake when she didn't realize the camera
was still running and it was not only taken out of context
but went viral online.
handling the funeral for the recently departed Delia Burns,
Desiree has to break up a fight between the Rosemarie Brewer
and her neighbor Lola Hansen. Then Rosemarie's husband Alan
is shot and killed, and Lola's husband Kyle is arrested for
the murder! To think it all started over barking dogs and
an overwrought emu named Vincent who collapsed and died.
knows that Kyle is not guilty. The man is like a second father
to her and she knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he wouldn't
hurt anyone. Complicating matters is Desiree's tumultuous
relationship with police officer Luke Butler. Luke still calls
her “Death-Ray” instead of Desiree, a nickname
going back to their school days together. Naturally, because
she knows Kyle isn't guilty, and because she wants to prove
Luke wrong, Desiree sets out to solve the crime herself!
is an engaging mystery jam-packed with small-town charm, California
heat, romance and quite a bit of humor. By the time the tale
unravels, almost no one has any skeletons left in their closets.
Or do they? I hope so, for future books!
of the story is the timely topic of the legality of growing
marijuana, and there is some emphasis on how it may be legal
in states, but it is not legal according to the federal government.
getting to know Verbenas residents and the dynamics of a third
generation funeral parlor. Family squabbles, tension, and
unsolved mysteries kept me turning pages well past my bedtime.
Readers are left with an intriguing clue as to the next book
in the series- is Desiree and Donna's father alive after all?