Suspicious Plots

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With beautiful summer weather providing the perfect backdrop for Orcas Island's upcoming Independence Day events, florist Kaylee Bleu can happily report that she's already seen an uptick in tourist traffic at her shop, The Flower Patch. Visitors are being drawn to Turtle Cove by a retrospective art exhibit at an upscale gallery and a writing workshop being hosted by mystery bookstore Between the Lines, and Kaylee and other local merchants are excited about the boost to their bottom lines.

Unfortunately, the pretty picture is threatened by the arrival of Emmet Baron, a mainland publisher of ill repute who is canvassing the town to drum up support for his latest scheme. Fellow business owners paint Kaylee an unflattering portrait of Baron, whose reputation for underhanded dealings and nefarious plots precedes him. No one seems to have any love lost for the cad, but that doesn't make it any less horrifying when he is found dead and the police suspect foul play.

Details remain sketchy about how Emmet met his maker. When Sheriff Eddie Maddox enlists Kaylee's help investigating an abstract claim buried amid the publisher's personal effects, she soon realizes that the real question is: Who didn't have a reason to erase Baron from Turtle Cove? From the young author he was exploiting to the grieving family of a painter whose masterpiece he tried to misappropriate, Emmet Baron's legacy as a con artist lives on despite his untimely end.

The farther Kaylee is pulled into the mystery surrounding Emmet's demise - and, for that matter, his life - the closer she comes to painting herself into a precarious corner. Can she draw the correct conclusions about Baron's final moments before she experiences her own brush with death? Or will a cold-arted murderer deliver her a fatal final stroke?

The Characters

At 40, Kaylee's life is about to change in a really big way.

When her job at the university is suddenly eliminated, Kaylee is left feeling lost. Yet it couldn't have happened at a better time.

A fortuitous phone call sets an exciting new course for Kaylee. She packs up her life and moves to take ownership of her grandparents' grand Victorian mansion flower shop and charming Wildflower Cottage, both in Turtle Cove, Wash., on gorgeous Orcas Island.

Of course, Grandpa Ed has been gone for years and while Kaylee feels the pang of missing him, she eagerly accepts her beautiful new surroundings to begin a brand-new chapter in her life.

Then Kaylee discovers that not everything in Turtle Cove is coming up roses. Will the cryptic clues in her grandfather's journal lead her to the truth about what really happened to him years ago -- and straight into the path of a killer?

Mary works part-time at The Flower Patch and welcomes Kaylee to Turtle Cove with open arms. As a retired police dispatcher, she has contacts with the local authorities -- connections that come in handy when she's helping Kaylee solve mysteries!

Jessica is the spunky owner of the Death by Chocolate bakery and coffee shop and Kaylee's best friend. She's energetic, funny and can't resist a good mystery. A petite woman with a big smile, she always has a handle on the local scoop, as well as a good conspiracy theory to share.

When Kaylee adopted Bear from a local shelter, it was love at first sight. Cute, curious and well-mannered, this lovable dachshund is Kaylee's constant companion, escorting her to the flower shop every day. His inquisitive nature might just land him in the middle of a mystery or two.