Francesca Vierling is always on the lookout for new fodder for her human-interest column in the St. Louis City Gazette. So she couldn’t be happier when a story unfolds in her own neighborhood. The grand—if slightly run-down—old houses of the South Side have become highly coveted overnight and renovators have sought to spruce them up.
But one renovator—known as Caroline the Rehab Wonderwoman—is a little overzealous and has been making more than home improvements. She has enemies all over the South Side, from disgruntled neighbors to intruding drug dealers to anyone who she considers not up to her standards. When those enemies start turning up dead, Caroline comes under suspicion—that is, until her own lifeless body is found with a gaudy pink flamingo lawn decoration planted in her chest.
With that many murders in a row, it doesn’t take Francesca long to discover that a tangled web of vendettas, backbiting, and gossip lies beneath the freshly painted facades.
Note: The author has made some minor revisions to the original text for this edition of the book.
About the author
Elaine Viets has written 33 mysteries in four series: the bestselling Dead-End Job series with South Florida PI Helen Hawthorne, the cozy Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper mysteries, and the dark Francesca Vierling mysteries. With the Angela Richman Death Investigator series, Elaine returns to her hardboiled roots and uses her experience as a stroke survivor and her studies at the Medicolegal Death Investigators Training Course. Elaine was a director at large for the Mystery Writers of America. She's a frequent contributor to Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine and anthologies edited by Charlaine Harris and Lawrence Block. Elaine won the Anthony, Agatha and Lefty Awards.