When a friend of innkeeper Roxanna Larkspur, and a current guest at the inn, is discovered strangled in bed, Booker Krane wants to assist in finding the killer. But Lorraine, the victim, is daughter to a former Texas senator, still a powerful force in Austin. Masonville’s mayor instructs both Booker and the sheriff to butt out, preferring to have her own police chief investigate.
Police Chief Josephine Zanders has no experience in solving a murder case, so she deputizes Booker as an “Ancillary Homicide Investigator.” Cool. Booker now has her authority to follow the trail all the way to Austin, where the plot definitely thickens. Lorraine was a talented artist with an important contract pending. She also was an investor in a pair of Austin businesses. Yet she left Austin abruptly and hasn’t been in contact with anyone.
Back in Masonville, Lorraine’s insomnia and her habit of walking the streets at night, talking easily to complete strangers, makes identifying her killer close to impossible. It might even have been a trucker traveling one of the highways that insect at the small town. Declaring the case fully investigated, Mayor Garrett hands it off to the state police.
Booker’s unrelenting curiosity, however, won’t let go. And his curiosity almost gets him killed.