Former probation and child welfare officer Mavis Davis wants to prove she can succeed in her new profession as a P.I. without anyone's help. When she arrives at the office one day, Mavis finds that her young associate, Candy, has acted in her behalf and taken a missing teenager case. Though it won't further her ambitions to be a big-time detective, Mavis reluctantly agrees to spend a couple of days searching for the girl. Little does she know that her investigation will lead to fraud, kidnapping, child abuse, and murder. After the missing girl's brother disappears, their father drops dead at Mavis' feet, and the police order her off the case, Mavis becomes more determined than ever to find the kids. If in the course of her investigation she happens to solve the murder, so be it. But when Mavis' negligence results in a serious assault on a witness and when she herself is arrested and charged as an accessory to kidnapping, it's time to reevaluate her situation. A night in the county jail makes Mavis realize that she must not only clear her own name, but that of the alleged kidnapper-murderer as well. The only way to do that is to make bail and hit the streets. In the end, although Mavis wants to catch the killer herself to prove her competence, she finds that accepting help is not always a bad thing.
Read A Review:

What starts out as a simple missing-person case quickly becomes something very different for PI Mavis Davis. After the missing girl’s brother also goes missing, her father turns up dead, and Mavis herself is implicated in the kidnapping, the PI is forced to try to catch a killer in order to clear her own name. The story is more elaborate than it needs to be, but Mavis is a strong and resourceful protagonist, and Baker is a strong and resourceful writer. They make a good team, and this series looks like a keeper.
David Pitt, Booklist