Herman, the former handy man of the Painted Lady Inn, now lives in an assisted living facility, where he misses his old life in Legacy and wonders about his worth in the world. Then Marcy Collins, a 40ish police officer recovering from a traumatic work-related cruiser crash, recruits him and a few other spunky residents to help her solve cold cases passed on by her former partner, Lance, since no one in the department has time to reopen them. Lola, the retired Vegas showgirl, and war veterans Jake & Gus round out the team they call The Way Over the Hill Gang as they sift through old evidence to determine if heiress Sue Ellen Makowitz’s death was really suicide, a conclusion Marcy and Lance never believed.
Poring over old papers, they find two suspects — Sue Ellen’s husband, Todd, who remarried soon after her death, and Mabel, the couple’s former maid. The team sets out on various discovery tasks — Marcy interviews Mabel, while Herman and Gus trail Todd and the retired police chief on the local golf course with a parabolic mike. Jake’s niece, Katie, who works in the nursing home office, offers them computer time, and Lola applies all the flattery skills she learned in Vegas to suss out information from Todd’s current wife, Jill, who she befriends on social media. As they plow through evidence and suspects, the motive and killer become clear, and the gang has their hands full capturing the person who ended Sue Ellen’s life.
Readers will enjoy the first novel of this new series by the author of the Painted Lady Inn mysteries. Scott’s elderly characters are fully-developed, vibrant individuals, not the sad and empty shells employed by lesser writers, and it’s immensely entertaining to watch the gang progress from restless boredom to savvy crime-solvers who actually start enjoying their life in assisted living . The ending promises more adventures for the Gang, which is an enticing prospect.