Patrick O'Malley, retired New York City cop, and Grace Johnson, Jill-of-all-trades at the homeless shelter where she escaped in the first Patrick and Grace Mystery, take flight to Nebraska when they hear that Walter Schmidt, Grace's cohort from the kitchen at the shelter was found hanging in the apple shed. What seems like a perfectly simple suicide soon turns to a devious plot, with family secrets abounding on every side. Small town life is at its best, where outsiders are "suspects" from the start, but soon Patrick and Grace have a lineup of suspects of their own.

The primary clue is the letter to Patrick and Grace, which contained a key to a safety deposit box. In the box? A RECIPE FOR MURDER. But was it really worth killing for? Obviously someone thought so.