It’s 1982, and Dee Ann Bulluck has enjoyed three peaceful years as a young wife, mother, and technical college instructor since moving to a backyard apartment in small-town Narrow Creek, North Carolina. Then her landlord Floyd Powell dies while sitting in his recliner on a calm Saturday morning. Turns out, his death is due to something more sinister than his diet of honey buns and Pepsi Colas, and the major suspect is Miss Josie, his wife of 35 years.
Convinced of Miss Josie’s innocence—and by the fact that if her landlady goes to jail, she and husband Joe will likely lose their sweet deal of an apartment—Dee Ann agrees to help Miss Josie prove she’s blameless. Their bumbling investigation manages to reveal Floyd’s involvement in quite a few unsavory activities, including bootlegging. The reappearance of Miss Josie’s long-lost beau and the meddling of her overbearing, big-city daughter complicate their amateur investigation.
Her landlord may be dead, but Dee Ann is busy with life: Monday night choir practice at the Methodist church, house-hunting with Joe, and controlling mischievous three-year-old Heather. She barely has time to hide in Miss Josie’s closet to eavesdrop or creep through the woods looking for a still. Will Miss Josie wind up in the big house while Dee Ann ends up with no house?
Like its heroine Dee Ann Bulluck, Life and Death in Narrow Creek is smart and sassy, witty and insightful. Readers will discover a cozy mystery warmed by the culture yet complicated by the social issues of the early 1980s in a small Southern town.