Can a yellow-throat toucan, and lyrics from Jimmy Buffett’s songs help Joy solve a month-old murder?
The central Florida town of Uncertain looms as a mere distraction for Joy Wagner when the new-to-her motorcycle breaks down under a banner publicizing the annual mud festival. Why would anyone celebrate mud? Sounds disgusting, but she’s stuck here till her bike’s fixed.
In less than an hour, her luck changes. She’s offered pizza-for-life and a job at Moore’s General Store. The job comes with two perks: a yellow-throated toucan, which is odd enough, but add to that the ghost of Merrick Moore and life takes a vociferously strange turn. The fatherly man is friendly and much loved, and related to most everyone in town. Trouble is, he’s been dead a month.
Townspeople believe he died of natural causes but he insists he was murdered. Can Joy expose the killer before anyone finds out she’s been getting clues from a ghost…and a toucan? More important, can she find the killer before the killer finds her?
Can lyrics from Tom Chapin’s songs help Joy solve the murder of her ex boyfriend, found in the debris of the Celtic Faire’s opening-night bonfire?
Joy is hauled back to Uncertain, Florida in a police car. Her boyfriend, with whom she broke up three months ago, has been found dead in the ashes of the Annual Celtic Faire’s bonfire. She was miles away when he died. But a witness, someone she considered a friend, said she was in town. And no one can prove otherwise.
Chief Wagner is being pressured from all sides to not only solve the murder, but also the rash of petty thefts that have hit the small town. Could they somehow be related? Joy thinks so, but the chief can’t let go of the idea she’s the killer.
When the body is identified as one of the contestants in the competition, and not Joy’s ex, things take on an entirely new perspective.
Can a yellow throat toucan, and lyrics from Jim Croce’s songs, help Joy solve the murder of one of Uncertain Florida’s leading citizens?
Joy and Diablo, the yellow throat toucan, return to the central Florida town of Uncertain to attend a friend’s wedding, and soon Xander and Amanda are zipping off to their honeymoon in Alaska.
Joy is delighted the annual chili cook-off is happening that weekend also. Second to pizza and peanut butter, chili’s her all-time favorite—the spicier the better. Unfortunately, someone uses the hubbub of the cook-off crowd to poison Darcy, a popular hairdresser.
What brought Darcy’s long-lost sister back to town at this time? Who is the grey-haired attorney who’s come all the way from LA? And why does Xander express an avid interest in poison? Joy’s overwhelmed with suspects and problems, until suddenly Diablo’s clues start making sense.
Can a yellow throat toucan, and lyrics from Billy Joel songs, help Joy solve the murder of Loco-Motion’s lead singer?
The entire Moore clan is celebrating Thanksgiving at Old Man Thompson’s barn. Though Joy’s not blood-related, they insist she be a part, which makes sense since months ago she uncovered the murderer of patriarch Merrick Moore, who now resides, in spirit, in the general store.
The barn walls vibrate with the beat from the popular band Loco-Motion. Suddenly, the lead singer lights up like a roman candle on New Years Eve. Nona Williamson has been electrocuted and things look bad for the family. After all, except for Joy, Diablo the toucan, and the band members, the only attendees are blood-related. This puts a huge kink in the investigation.
Can a yellow throat toucan, and lyrics from Cat Stevens’ songs, help Joy solve the murder of the vice-principal in the middle of her marriage proposal?
Joy is finally settling down. She’s bought a house but it needs work. No problem, as she has amazing friends to help out, but a kink in the plans arises when she enlists Trinity’s help ‘relocating’ Merrick’s ghost to the new address.
Meanwhile, Joy, Anna, and Whitney are immersed in making a snowy Christmas wonderland in the high school gym, even though they live in sunny Florida. Things go well until a man in a ten-gallon hat, here from Banderas, Texas, the cowboy capital of the world, enlists their help in proposing to his high-school sweetheart, who’s now the vice-principal. Nobody could’ve known she would be dead before he finished speaking the words.
A Picasso disappears en route from Chicago to New Hampshire. While the truck is moving. The multi-million dollar painting is there, then it’s not. It’s gone, but it can’t be.
Kendra Jean Valentine, underwriting agent for the policy, is on the hook. She scrapes together enough to hire two women to work the case. Two ‘regular’ women no self-respecting insurance agent would look twice at. Which is exactly why KJ thinks they’re perfect.
Westen Hughes owns a failing pet shop. With creditors phoning daily, she jumps at the chance to earn a bundle of easy money, even though the offer comes from high school nemesis KJ Valentine, who stole everything in high school: head cheerleader, homecoming queen and the star quarterback.
Phoebe Smith is a snake-loving, underwear-hating, tuba player with more baggage than Logan Airport—Westen’s total opposite in all ways.Ten percent of a hundred million is…Well, it’s a lot so Smith and Westen join forces on a roller coaster ride to find one of the world’s most valuable paintings.
A priceless Egyptian vase disappears in front of six witnesses. And, of course, the thief...It's there, then POOF, it's gone.
Smith & Westen, New England’s most mismatched investigative team is hot on the trail. The ink is barely dry on snake-lover Phoebe Smith and Susie Homemaker Westen Hughes’ licenses. Their bank accounts are bursting from their previous windfall, yet they’re anxious to get back to work.
During the unveiling of a local college’s exhibit, the vase worth $1.75 million, disappeared in front of seven people.
Enrique Vargas’s money is rumored to have come from smuggling artifacts.
Model-thin Fiona Frost is his paramour-de-month; the only job she ever had was as a prostitute.
Donald Abbott is a dealer in ancient weapons, particularly Egyptian ones.
The always-smiling Sophie Oliver has no visible means of support.
Dana Thornton is head of the exhibit’s security, a job that could grow to include the whole campus if he plays his cards right. How did the theft happen right under his nose?
Smith and Westen dodge threats and physical attacks by the suspects…More important, they need to stay one step ahead of insurance adjuster KJ Valentine, who’s determined to find the vase and cash in on the 10% finders fee.
Take $2 million in bank securities.Add a bank manager who moonlights as a magician. Blend well, then add:
A nagging shrew of a wife
A high-maintenance daughter in debt up to her ears
A TV talk show husband who foots too many of the family's bills A down-to-earth daughter, seemingly baffled by them all
A theater producer who's never around when people need him.
And it's clear, Gabe Heinz has two million reasons to disappear. He is in the middle of his vanishing act on stage when he does just that—vanish before a sell-out crowd—along with two million in securities from the bank where he’s vice president.
His daughter is distraught—and a prime suspect—not just by the FBI, but by her nagging shrew of a mother.
Insurance recovery team Smith and Westen are up to their ears in movers determined to demolish every stick of furniture in their new home. It’s almost a relief when a recovery job takes them to Los Angeles.
Hunky bodyguard Ryan Ames is supposed to meet them at LAX. Instead, a gun-wielding lunkhead with a fondness for roughing up women escorts them to a mobster who claims they now work for him.
When they locate the securities—and they’d better, or else—can they keep them from the mobster?
Running back Gazelle Walker disappears in front of 60,000 gaping football fans. Can insurance recovery experts Smith & Westen find him before the unthinkable happens?
Virginia Supernova Rudolph Gazelle Walker races downfield, arms outstretched. The ball sails smoothly into his hands. He is immediately tackled by four members of the Baltimore Crusaders. When the dust settles and the pileup cleared, Gazelle has disappeared. All that remains is his shiny new helmet.
Phoebe—call me that again and you eat dirt—Smith, and Westen Hughes, recovery experts from New Hampshire Property and Casualty, stand on the sidelines. It’s impossible for a two-hundred-plus pound man to disappear, and yet it happened not twenty feet away. In front of 60,000 traumatized fans.
Gazelle is known for his on- and off-field publicity stunts, and rumors run wild, but this reeks of something more sinister, especially when news of multiple death threats hits the media.
Can Smith and Westen find him before the unthinkable happens?
How can the number one thoroughbred in the country disappear while on a practice run at the track?
Ocho Rios, the number one thoroughbred in the country, has just been sold for $10.7 million. The new owner watches him run a practice lap at the Lexington, Kentucky track—ears are back, mane flying, hooves pounding the dirt. But as the sweaty animal returns trackside, it’s quickly obvious another horse has taken Ocho Rios’ place.
He was only out of sight for three seconds while he rounded the backstretch. How could a substitution be made with dozens of people looking on? And who is the replacement horse?
Smith and Westen, with new partner Ryan, have just formed their own insurance recovery agency. Never again will they be forced to work with nemesis Kendra Jean Valentine who insists on stealing their research and taking the credit. Being on their own will be so freeing, but how to go about finding jobs?
The question is no sooner out of Westen’s mouth when Ocho’s old owner arrives begging them to take the case.