A PAEAN TO BOOKS, A MEDITATION ON LOVE, AND A POLICE PROCEDURAL WITH NO POLICE. With the words, You look like an honest man, retired English teacher Charlotte London approaches Quill Gordon in a small-town caf, gives him a manila envelope for safekeeping, and turns his fishing trip upside down. That night, a fire destroys her house, her body is found in the ruins, and Gordon finds himself the unwitting custodian of her family history and personal journal from 25 years ago. When the politically sensitive sheriff seems content to call the fire an accident, Gordon and his friend Peter Delaney join forces with an aging-hippie newspaper editor, a librarian who talks too much, a factoid-obsessed local historian, and Charlottes best friend to investigate the death. Is the critical clue in the family history, which digs into a controversial land development and suggests her fathers accidental death may not have been so accidental? Or is it in her journal, where, amid reflections on Pride and Prejudice and Anna Karenina, Charlotte chronicles a clandestine love affair? Something in those documents is worth killing for, and the investigation becomes increasingly personal (and perilous) for Gordon and his associates, who need a solution before one of them becomes the next corpse.