"Fans of Garrison Keillor's tales of Lake Wobegon will be enchanted." —Publishers Weekly The only thing widow Isabel Puddles loves as much as her hometown of Gull Harbor on the shores of Lake Michigan is cozying up to a good mystery—but she never expected to be caught in the middle of one . . . To the tourists and summer residents, Kentwater County is a picturesque community of small-town charm, fruitful farmland, and gorgeous freshwater beaches. To middle-aged widow Isabel Puddles, it's where she enjoys breakfast every morning at a local café with her childhood best friend and spends her evenings cozying up with a good book and her devoted Jack Terrier, Jackpot. In between, Isabel makes ends meet through a variety of trades—preserving pickles, baking pies, working the counter at her cousin's hardware shop, and occasionally helping "fix-up" the hair of corpses at the local funeral parlor.
When Isabel discovers a two-inch nail embedded in the skull of Earl Jonasson, it seems the octogenarian may not have died of a stroke. His son is quickly arrested when his alibi doesn't check out. But Isabel has known Earl Jr. since they were kids and can't believe he'd murder his own father, regardless of his financial difficulties. As gossip about Earl Sr.'s land and insurance policy money starts to spread around the county, Isabel finds herself conducting her own investigation to clear her friend's name. But real detective work isn't like what she sees on TV, and she's meeting dangerous suspects who don't like Isabel poking around in their business . . .