Ex-cop and crime analyst Cait Pepper thought life was good . . . until an unexpected inheritance from an aunt she’d never heard of. What did she know about growing grapes or running a Shakespeare festival? She had majored in English Lit in college but had taken a different path after graduation. It’s helpful when families are around to shed light on the main characters and to drive the plot, but for Cait there’s no one to ask about this mysterious aunt. Her parents had died in a plane crash and she had no siblings. In lieu of family, I’ve integrated examples from Cait’s close friends to influence the way she behaves, her likes, and her desires. The trustee of the Bening Estate discloses the aunt’s background as a Shakespearean actor and her plans for her Shakespeare festival. On faith and trust, Cait leaves a job she loves in Ohio and moves to northern California to take over her aunt’s festival.
As family secrets surface, opportunities to exercise Cait’s investigative talents evolve. Her investigation into the life and death of her aunt forces her down a road paved with familial lies, devastating secrets, and multiple murders. Faced with running the Shakespeare festival, protecting the actors from harm, and cultivating the vineyard, Cait wonders why she didn’t refuse her inheritance and hightail it back to Ohio. But she’s not a quitter. With Navy SEAL Royal Tanner covering her back, she is able to solve crimes and protect her actors, but the last thing she needs is romantic involvement.
Cait’s belief that she’s been put on this earth to help people comes into question when she becomes a target for murder. No sooner had one crime been solved, than another popped up. As a cop in Ohio, Cait had always thought of her fellow police officers as family. Two years before moving to California, one of the officers in her department faced imminent death. Cait shot and killed the perpetrator. Now, someone tracks her down and is out to revenge the killing. Cait asks her good friend and mentor, a detective in Ohio, for help in solving this latest emergency.
Thanks to her parents and their support, Cait grew up feeling empowered to make positive choices in her life. Although devastated by their death, her friends helped her get through the loss. Most of us depend greatly on the company of true friends. They bring support and joy. Cait’s friends have been with her through sorrow, job change, divorce, relocation, and considers them family. She pays them back by being the best friend she can be.