A Sleuth is Born

It’s mid-December, and Angela is busy preparing Betty Snickerdoodle’s Christmas Inn and Ranch, where she and Bea now live full-time. Its grand opening, BettyCon, is just a few weeks away, and construction is still ongoing when a poker tournament hostess approaches Angela to ask if the resort can step in for their usual venue, which was destroyed in the 2018 Camp Fire. Angela immediately agrees, although Bea is naturally suspicious, as neither she nor her old flame, Perry, have ever heard of the impresario or her competition. However, Angela dismisses their concern, especially since they’ve already made a 50% deposit, and hopes the inn can host similar future events.

Her confidence plunges when she meets the grande dame, Lee Glastonbury, who has a high-falutin attitude and a cheap dye job. She insists that she will provide all menu ingredients for the poker players, some of whom have allergy issues. In fact, one player, Eddie Kawai, is winning handily until he has a peanut reaction, and Lee immediately blames the chef, claiming to have found peanut oil in the kitchen.

In the meantime, Aseem struggles to understand why the cameras aren’t recording properly, according to tournament rules. And just how did photos of the super-secret competition make it onto the Internet? Add that to the death of the most bellicose player, Billy Ray Bandy — his body is found just outside a barn in the property, near a fallen ladder.

Bea, Angela, Perry, and Aseem find trouble at every turn, but as always, no one outwits them. A sleuth is born indeed.

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