A missing teenager. A troubled cold-case sleuth. A twenty-year-old mystery never resolved.
Art Dodger, Savannah-based artist, isn't too impressed at first by the story of Danielle Standridge's disappearance twenty years before. He accepts that she's gone. That someone else caused her absence by no means strikes him as certain. Fifteen-year-old girls do all sorts of odd and unexplained things, then and now. Still, in Dodger's experience, which is considerable, when a girl as good-looking as Danielle manages to stay missing for decades, it usually doesn't bode well.
As he digs deeper into the past of the North Carolina mill town where Danielle lived, he knows something is definitely wrong. But does it have anything to do with why Danielle's still gone? The wealthy owner of the mill (and the town) thinks so - he's why Dodger is there to investigate. The girl's best friend from high school agrees, and even the sheriff, who briefly dated Danielle, thinks they're right. Just about everyone else, however, including her strangely indifferent family, seems to assume that the girl - smart, pretty, and clearly on her way to greener pastures probably sooner rather than later - simply walked away from a dying town and a personal situation worse than anyone suspected.
Did bright, beautiful Danielle leave of her own accord? Was she kidnapped and murdered? Dodger uncovers a lot of secrets beneath the sad surface of an old company town, itself in the process of disappearing.
In "The Quilt Hater," first of the short stories, Jen and Jamie discover that a thing that seems too good to be true probably is. In "Tempest in a Teapot," the partners learn there's no pleasing everybody. In "Best When Ripe,' a detested former classmate insists they donate the most expensive item in the shop to a historical society of which she's the acquisitions officer. Along the way, happily married Jen - blonde, plump, and pretty - spends too much time trying to find the right man for divorced Jamie - auburn-haired, rangy, and distinctive.