Ballantine, May 2005, 22.95, 314 pp.
Alpine is a small semi-isolated Pacific Northwest hamlet located deep in the forest and perched on a mountainside. The owner and publisher of the local weekly newspaper, The Alpine Advocate is Emma Lord and the stories concern mostly the people and the special events in their lives. Emma plans special coverage for Genevieve Bayard who hasn't been back to her hometown in decades. Gen is coming to see her son Buddy and his wife as well as her old girlfriends who belonged to a quilting circle.
After a celebratory party, Gen goes to visit her best friend Annie Jean who works as a housekeeper at the local church. Annie Jean fixes a delicious meal but by the time it is finished Gen is dead and Annie Jean is in the hospital. Tests show both women were poisoned by an insulin product used by diabetics. It is a front page story but Emma's House and Home reporter Vida Runkel who usually gets involved in homicides keeps her distance and makes it plain that she doesn't care that Gen is dead. Emma comes to believe that if she knows why Vida hated Gen, she will discover who the murder is.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner