The roots of the Moonlight Magnolia Detective Agency reach back to the 1980s in the little town of McGill, Georgia—where Stella Reid and her seven grandkids enjoy some spooky Halloween fun and stumble into murder . . .
Even if she has to stick to a budget, Stella Reid always makes holidays like Halloween memorable for twelve-year-old Savannah and the rest of her grandchildren. After joining trick-or-treating and the annual parade down Main Street, Granny Reid and the kids head to Judge Patterson’s antebellum mansion, where a corn maze awaits. Most of the youngsters are too terrified to make it all the way to the middle. It’s lucky for them, because when Savannah and Granny get there, it proves to be even scarier than they expected—half buried in the mud at the center of the maze lies a human skull.
The grisly discovery uncovers a mystery that stretches back decades—and seems to be related to the long-unsolved murder of Granny Reid’s own part-Cherokee mother. After all this time, the culprit may be long gone . . . or still hiding among them. It’ll be up to Granny to dig into this Southern town’s history and a mess of old family secrets . . .
McKevett's heart-wrenching sequel to 2018's Murder in Her Stocking explores the early career of California PI Savannah Reid, the author's main series lead, while living as a child with her headstrong grandmother, Stella Reid, in McGill, Ga., in the 1980s. It's Halloween, and devoted Stella takes sixth-grader Savannah and the rest of her grandkids to Judge Patterson's antebellum mansion for the festive corn maze. Inside the maze, Savannah stumbles on a long-dead corpse, still in its Sunday best. Stella immediately recognizes the remains as those of Rebecca Dingle, who went missing years before. Stella can do nothing to dampen single-minded Savannah's natural investigative inclinations as the girl begins to assist in the crime solving, but she must also protect Savannah from the possibly devastating town and family history the inquiry reveals. The insightful look into the Southern culture of the time and the fascinating backstories of each distinctive character elevate this outing. McKevett transcends the usual cozy and amateur sleuth tropes.