Award-winning author Jill Churchill once again brings a bit of dazzle to the Great Depression, in her fourth captivating and colorful trip up New York's Hudson River for some high living -- and dying -- in hard times.
Sister and brother Lily and Robert Brewster, raised in the lap of luxury, may no longer have a penny to their names, but at least they have a roof over their heads -- which is more than many can say in this bleak November of 1932. This is thanks to their eccentric great-uncle, whose will allows them to live in his mansion on a sprawling estate in Voorburg-on-Hudson. And now there's even some cash rolling in, since the Brewsters have taken part-time teaching duties at the local grade school.
But their luck turns sour when a mysterious and badly disguised stranger comes to Grace and Favor willing to pay generously to have a secret meeting there shortly before the presidential election. Are they gangsters? Pretty Boy Floyd is rumored to be somewhere near. Or worse, are they a rabid pro-Hoover political group trying to stop Roosevelt from being elected at the last minute by making up some nasty gossip about him?
When one of the mystery guests is murdered in his bath, a little boy is kidnapped, and Chief Howard Walker can't find anywhere to house all his suspects except the local Hospital for the Criminally Insane, the pace becomes hectic. In the end a local woman, a secretary from upriver whom Lily has befriended, and one of the children at the school provide the vital clues that allow Lily to put two and two together. But only after a wild car chase with three women drivers.
Jill Churchill is the winner of the Agatha and Macavity Mystery Readers Awards and was nominated for an Anthony Award for her bestselling Jane Jeffry series. She is the author of three previous Grace & Favor mystery novels, Anything Goes, In the Still of the Night, and Someone to Watch Over Me, and lives in the Midwest.