“Verburg is a must for fans of the ‘smart cozy’. . . a wonderful cast of characters I hope to meet again soon.” —Sandra J. McGibbon, Amazon review
Who’s out to kill Ashley Dillon? Nobody’s supposed to know she’s in Las Vegas except her parents and Haggis Mack, the rock-bagpiper she’s divorcing. But threats from a cell-phone stalker, and nearly drowning in the Bellagio pool, send Ashley fleeing home to Cape Cod. Where better to turn 21 than at the posh waterfront party her mom, inventor Pam Nash, is throwing to launch Zappa, her revolutionary “Taser for pacifists”?
Pam appeals to her fellow genius Edgar Rowdey: How the hell do I add a birthday party to a weapon demonstration? Edgar, famous for his sinister little black-and-white storybooks, refers her to local soup-chef Lydia Vivaldi and Wampanoag pastry artist Mudge Miles. Champagne and cake, military brass and venture capitalists—Ashley’s thrilled, Zappa’s a hit, and Pam is hugely relieved . . . until Lydia spots a partygoer dead in the water. Did Ashley’s stalker drown the wrong target? Can the police find out in time to stop another attack? As ripples of violence widen, Edgar Rowdey reluctantly changes from guest of honor to sleuth.