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Harper Wolfe never intended to return for an extended period to his place of birth in Kellersville, Alabama. Now a successful mystery writer, he lives in California where he moved after divorcing his childhood sweetheart, Nan. When he finds out that Nan is dying, he returns home to be with her and reconnects with his now-teenage son. A significant challenge for Harper is dealing with his Aunt Clairisse, a master manipulator who rules the family with an iron hand. Because she controls the purse strings of the family business, her son and daughter bow to her every command. Harper is forced into a showdown with Clairisse. Death is an unwelcomed visitor to the family reunion; unfortunately not all demises are of natural causes. Family skeletons come out of many closets, and secrets are revealed to mixed reactions and emotions. Harper experiences his hometown from a new and interesting, if not tragic, point of view. Although he is definitely not an outsider, his perspective is a combination of native son and visitor. Reacquainting himself with the traditions and eccentric residents, he sees both the vicious and comical sides of everyday life.