Jude Deveraux is the author of forty-three New York Times bestsellers, including For All Time, Moonlight in the Morning, and A Knight in Shining Armor. She was honored with a Romantic Times Pioneer Award in 2013 for her distinguished career. To date, there are more than sixty million copies of her books in print worldwide.
Katherine Hamilton’s goal in high school was to escape from her dead-end hometown of Asheboro, Maryland. Fifteen years later she’s got a degree in hospitality management and a great job at a high-end boutique hotel in Baltimore. Until, that is, the hotel is acquired by a chain, and she’s laid off. When Kate’s high school best friend calls with a mysterious invitation to come talk with the town leaders of Asheboro, she agrees to make the trip, curious about where this new opportunity might lead.
Once Kate arrives, the town council members reveal that their town is on the verge of going bankrupt, and they’ve decided that Kate’s skills and knowledge make her the perfect person to cure all their ills. The town has used its last available funds to buy the huge Victorian mansion just outside of town, hoping to use it to attract some of the tourists who travel to visit the nearby Civil War battle sites. Kate has less-than-fond memories of the mansion, for personal reasons, but to make matters worse, the only person who has presented a possible alternate plan is Cordelia Walker—Kate’s high school nemesis.
But a few days later, while touring the mansion, Kate stumbles over a body—and it’s none other than Cordelia. Kate finds herself juggling the murder investigation and her growing fascination with the old house, which itself is full of long-hidden mysteries. Kate must clear her name and save her town—before she ends up in hot water.
When the body of a transport minister is discovered in the grounds on Honeychurch Hall, suspicion about his unusual demise naturally falls on the folks in the village. After all, who could possibly want a high-speed train line built in their front yard?
News of the murder soon reaches our heroine Kat Stanford's nemesis Trudy Wynne. A ruthless tabloid journalist and the ex-wife of Kat's discarded lover, Trudy is out for revenge. She is also interested in exposing—and humiliating—Kat's mother Iris, who is secretly the international bestselling romance writer Krystalle Storm.
As the body count begins to build, Kat becomes inextricably embroiled in the ensuing scandal. Is the minister's death the result of a local vendetta, or could it be connected to her mother's unusual (to say the least) past?