Former beauty queen and fledgling private investigator Madeline Maclin has married her best friend, Jerry Fairweather, and settled into his old house in the small town of Celosia, North Carolina.
Now Madeline is investigating the mysterious death of Amelia Lever, an unpopular teacher at Celosia Elementary School, whose cigarette break turned out to be fatal.
And then there's Maddy's latest case: Nathan Fenton has hired her to help solve a riddle left to him by his Uncle Elijah, a man who loved to play games. The riddle says: "From west to east the river flows, from ancient times the sparrow flies. Trust animals that live in packs, and listen where the portrait lies." Are the teacher's death and this mysterious riddle somehow related?
Jane Tesh lives in Mt. Airy, North Carolina. Besides writing, she enjoys playing the piano for productions at the Andy Griffith Playhouse, teaching aerobics, traveling, and playing with Winkie, her one-eyed Chihuahua.