Police chief Hayden Konig is a lucky man. He’s wealthy, he enjoys his work, he has a loving wife, good friends, and lives in the quaintest, most picturesque town in the North Carolina mountains. With all this going for him, you’d think he’d be satisfied. He’s not. He longs to be a writer, a hard-boiled, noir detective word-slinger worthy of the 1939 Underwood No. 5 sitting on his desk—a typewriter once owned by Raymond Chandler. You’d think a machine like this would help. It doesn’t.
The knob turned, the door creaked, and trouble spilled into the room, trouble spelled with a capital D—no, not “Drouble,” even though that might make more sense except that “Drouble” isn’t a word, so not really: capital D, small a, small m, small e (a Dame) but, come to think of it, a small d would work just as well since she wasn’t proper at all and didn’t even try to begin a sentence.
As a detective, Chief Konig is at the top of his game. As the organist at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, he can play with the best of them. But as a writer, Hayden produces more bad prose than the St. Germaine Garden Club’s annual poetry review.
What do the bones of an ancient king, a scoodle of skunks, a farm auction, the best Christmas parade ever, and an obnoxious deacon have to do with the dead body floating in Lake Tannenbaum? Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. It’s up to Hayden to pull all the clues together like two cousins in a Kentucky hayloft. After all, Epiphany is right around the corner!