Jessie McAlan Mysteries

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Finding a large hole on one’s property is one thing; finding a body in it the following day is quite another.

    Rona Murray’s business has just recovered from suspicions of her involvement in a woman’s drowning near her property when this wayward corpse appears. To prevent another round of cancelled business orders and gossip, Rona decides to find out what/when/how and why the man was there. No need to learn who: it’s Shawn, her friend’s brother.

Rona and her ex-husband, Johnny, 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 Shawn’s death? Is it his or his killer’s? Besides, what was he doing back in town¾he and his sister were estranged.

     Perhaps the code is linked to the old-time river pirates or the Younger/James Gang¾both roamed the area and are rumored to have buried loot. The local Historical Society president covets items like this. As does the head of P.I.R.A.T.E.S., the organization famous for tracking down lost treasures of antiquity. Is either president searching alone, desirous to add to their personal collections, but Shawn got in the way? Maybe his burglary partner or former girlfriend acted on their desires, ridding themselves of him¾permanently.

     Add to this mix the old Finley-Tennet feud and the elderly Finley’s nebulous recollection of those outlaw days. Does she have the clue to the cache’s location and motive for Shawn’s death?  It’s not until a second death occurs and the elderly Finley’s life is in danger that Rona cracks the strange code and learns how deeply Johnny still loves her.

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The police label of ‘accidental drowning’ near Rona Murray’s property in Klim, Missouri starts an avalanche of cancellations that threatens to sink her bakery business. Determined to keep it afloat, she starts her own investigation to prove she and her property are blameless.  But she hadn’t counted on her ex-husband, Johnny, who pops up periodically. Does he want to help or hinder her detective work? Her mistrust seems to hold water when she discovers property vandalism and midnight lights in the woods—both of which escalate into a struggle against death in a raging river.

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