When her handyman dies of taxine poisoning, Edna Davies, amateur herbalist, becomes the prime suspect. Nearly certain that she hadn't concocted a poisonous potion and desperate to save herself from arrest, Edna taps into strengths she never before realized she possessed. Shunned by the townsfolk, questioned by the police, and threatened by thieves, she follows the clues of a 40-year-old disappearance to capture a killer.
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Rhode Islander Edna Davies is in Colorado when she is confronted by a private detective and challenged to find a missing woman. Anita Collier appears to be alive. Her paycheck is deposited, her bills are paid, her phone is answered; but closer inspection reveals everything is automated. Nobody has actually seen her for several weeks, except perhaps Edna's son, but he refuses to talk. In her search for the truth, Edna plunges deep into danger when she uncovers more than one murder and struggles to prevent another.
Edna Davies is heading for the Providence Art Club when she spots a valuable heirloom brooch in the newly-tilled soil of a friend's yard. Her discovery helps to solve a 50-year-old mystery but it also precipitates a murder. As she tries to make sense of the killing, Edna realizes more than one person is hiding behind a false identity. Matching wits with extortionists, arsonists and frauds, she must determine who is friend and who is foe before another person dies.
Edna Davies is frantic. Concern for an invalid husband has put her behind and now, with less than a week before Christmas and with family gathering for the first time in years, she hasn't even put up a tree. As a winter storm descends on the town, the owner of a local cat shelter is found dead and Mary Osbourne disappears. Trying to juggle holiday plans with the search for her neighbor, Edna meets a killer and may miss Christmas.
Edna Davies is angry and worried. "Innocent until proven guilty" is the way our justice system works, but apparently not the way people react. Rose Beck was questioned repeatedly after the death of her husband, but she was never arrested, never charged. When Edna's nine-year-old granddaughter meets and befriends Rose's daughter, Edna must examine her own feelings. By ignoring the rumors, she may be endangering her family.