The House on Devil's Bar
The police verdict of a woman's accidental drowning in the Mississippi River does more than set tongues wagging in the small Missouri town of Klim; it starts a flood of cancellations that threaten to sink Rona Murray's bakery and events business. And blacken her good name. Determined to save both, she starts her own investigation to prove she and her property are blameless.
Suspects and motives pop up like bubbles in yeast. Is Matt, an employee, still bitter about his and Barbara's divorce? What about Rona's own ex, Johnny? Is he trying to drive her out of business, or is his current girlfriend, Crystal, jealous of their relationship and trying to eliminate the competition by framing Rona for Barbara's death? A bit like calling the kettle black, for Crystal seems very friendly with Frank, the bad boy neighbor. Frank isn't lily-white, either. He dislikes Rona; is he behind the pranks on her property or mixed up in Barbara's death?
It isn't until Rona's life is threatened one stormy night that she learns the killer's identity and her true feelings about Johnny.
A Hasty Grave
Finding a hole on one's property is one thing; finding a body in it the following day is quite another.Rona and her ex-husband, Johnny, also discover a sheet of paper at the gravesite, symbols looking like code or treasure hunting glyphs. What's it mean? Does it have any bearing on the man's death?Add to this mix the old Finley-Tennet feud and an elderly Finley's nebulous recollection of James/Younger outlaw days. Does she have the clue to the cache's location?When a second death pushes Rona and Johnny into a deadly game of hide-and-seek with the killer, she learns-nearly too late--just how deeply Johnny still loves her.
The Klim, MO community theater is in rehearsals for its production of Macbeth, scheduled to open Halloween night. Sean Keith, one of the actors in the play, is vehemently opposed to its production. The stories of the 'curse' haunting its performance is nothing to fool with. But his warnings fall on deaf ears. He feels vindicated, however, when an actor is found dead. The victim, unfortunately, dined at Linn House Events Center, Rona Murray's business that has been linked with other strange deaths. Has the Macbeth curse struck again, or is it the jinx of Rona's house? Local gossip laps up the prospect with all the zeal of whisky toasts drunk at a Bobbie Burns Night dinner.To prove her business blameless, Rona investigates. She soon uncovers a tragedy as poignant as any play, one with ties to a 14th century Scottish blood feud. And one that might bring down the final curtain on her.