R. J. Lee follows in the mystery-writing footsteps of his father, R. Keene Lee, who wrote fighter pilot and detective stories for Fiction House, publishers of WINGS Magazine and other pulp fiction periodicals in the late ’40s and ’50s. Lee was born and grew up in the Mississippi River port of Natchez but also spent thirty years living in the Crescent City of New Orleans. A graduate of the University of the South (Sewanee) where he studied creative writing under Sewanee Review editor, Andrew Lytle, Lee now resides in Oxford, Mississippi.
Pediatrician Kent Abner received the package on a beautiful April morning. Inside was a cheap trinket, a golden egg that could be opened into two halves. When he pried it apart, highly toxic airborne fumes entered his body—and killed him.
After Eve Dallas calls the hazmat team—and undergoes testing to reassure both her and her husband that she hasn’t been exposed—it’s time to look into Dr. Abner’s past and relationships. Not every victim Eve encounters is an angel, but it seems that Abner came pretty close—though he did ruffle some feathers over the years by taking stands for the weak and defenseless. While the lab tries to identify the deadly toxin, Eve hunts for the sender. But when someone else dies in the same grisly manner, it becomes clear that she’s dealing with either a madman—or someone who has a hidden and elusive connection to both victims.
Big and Little Hebert might be criminals, but they prefer no competition in their territory, especially someone brazen enough to kill a man at the Christmas gala. When they hire Fortune to investigate the man’s death, she gets her Christmas wish and Swamp Team 3 sets out to solve their final case of the year.
Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie are finally off to Florida on the vacation they’ve always talked about. Days filled with white sand, turquoise water, and fruity drinks are the only thing on the agenda. But when Gertie’s “hot date” turns up dead and she’s the number one suspect, they’re forced to hang up their bathing suits and shift to investigating mode.
They soon discover that Gertie’s beau was up to all kinds of shady behavior, leaving them with a long list of people who are happy he’s dead. But which one resorted to murder?