murder half-baked
December is usually a slow time in the real estate business, but this one isn’t turning out that way. Ellen McKenzie has a new client. Grace House, a half-way house for women who need help, is looking for a larger residence and Ellen’s Aunt Mary has nominated her as their real estate agent. It’s going to be a complicated transaction, but as Aunt Mary is helping Ellen plan her wedding to Dan Dunham, Santa Louisa’s chief of police, on New Years Eve, Ellen can hardly refuse. The wedding guest list is growing and her dreams of a small, intimate candlelight ceremony are rapidly disappearing. Ellen finds herself drawn to the residents of Grace House and, in spite of the countdown to Christmas and the wedding, she finds herself eager to help. At least, until she finds old Dr Sadler dead in the cemetery, his head bashed in by the arm of a marble angel. All possible suspects seem connected in some way to Grace House, but it’s not until someone burns it down and all the residents, including one new-born, move in with Ellen and Dan that she decides she’d better help Dan find the killer. If she doesn’t, she’s likely to have a much fuller house at Christmas than she’d planned and a few more guests at the wedding.