Gracie Lee Harris has bad luck. The man who persuaded her to move from Missouri to California and wooed her into a second marriage gets into an automobile accident a few months after the nuptials. He's in the hospital five months, and then just as he's seeming better, he's murdered! Who's responsible-his devoted, doting mother? His daughter, whom he'd bilked out of thousands? Or his pregnant lover? Gracie Lee is determined to find out. Along the way, she makes a new best friend, rediscovers Jesus, and decides California's not all bad. This first mystery in a presumed series has many flaws. The reader could perhaps tolerate the plot's contrived coincidences (e.g., Gracie Lee and the ""other woman"" happen to show up at the same women's gathering at Conejo Community Chapel). Less forgivable is the flimsy characterization and stilted dialogue-especially when conversations turn to Christianity (""You're going to survive, with God's help and guidance, and we're all here to help you get through it""). Finally, newcomers to the Conejo Community Chapel women's group find community and deep understanding after about 10 minutes-not a very believable portrait of how friendships really develop.