Lark and Jay are now firmly based on the Shoalwater Peninsula. Lark has opened a new bookstore, and Jay heads the law enforcement program as well as consulting for the sheriff's department. One of his colleagues, Keith McDonald, is married to the daughter of a flamboyant film director. Bianca Fiedler McDonald ran off to a hippy commune when there were hippy communes. Although Jay dislikes McDonald, who objects to cops in the classroom, ag students from the college intern at the highly successful organic farm Bianca operates on Shoalwater Bay, so Jay is interested..

When Lark meets her, Bianca and the commune survivors are developing a small convention center at the farm. Lark agrees to help Bianca set up a conference on nature writing. Lark also rents the apartment above her bookstore to Hugo Groth, one of the more eccentric communards. It's too late to cancel the conference when Hugo's corpse is found in an ice house used to crisp freshly harvested broccoli.

My son has a degree in sustainable agriculture, so the research for this one was easy—and very interesting. It changed my eating habits.

"Lark and her cop-turned-teacher husband Jay make an adept team as Simonson gracefully exposes the base passions that can animate even the most sensitive environmental do-gooders." PW

"The delight of the Lark Dodge series is that you can read 'em as satires or as straightforward murder mysteries. But you should read 'em." The Oregonian