Merrie Lee and Warren Spencer's descent from luxury in the recession is hardly a tragic one, but when Warren's firm goes under, their life-style undergoes a radical change. Renting out their Manhattan penthouse, selling their forty-foot sloop, and returning the leased BMW, the Spencers decamp to tiny Davis Landing, North Carolina, where one of Merrie Lee's distant kin has left her a moderately dilapidated frame house. Here Warren will write the novel that will recoup their fortunes and Merrie will - well, miss smart New York life and find a way to keep occupied. Merrie's opportunity for the former arises immediately ("You have to import garlic if you want to cook anything but grits," she marvels); the opportunity for the latter comes when the Spencers attend the funeral for seventy-two-year-old Miss Emily, who slipped on the way to the commode one night, sprained her ankle, and subsequently expired. How, Merrie wonders, could a redoubtable old woman in extraordinary health die of a sprained ankle? Soon, the death rate in Davis Landing begins to defy the actuarial tables, and as Warren works on his novel and tries to put the house together, Merrie goes in for a bit of detection. Although the neighbors are neighborly, and any small crisis brings forth a parade of ladies with consolation casseroles, Merrie is not always able to follow (or even fathom) the way things are supposed to be done in Davis Landing. With wit and good humor, Muriel Resnik Jackson has contrasted yuppie life in Manhattan and the subsurface turmoil of a small southern town to create a highly entertaining mystery.