While painting on location in one of her family's hayfields, Jessie absentmindedly brushes a note of turquoise onto the canvas. Curious about what added the lovely spot of color, the artist walks over to discover a tennis shoe. The mate is still on the foot of a dying Native American girl crammed between the haybales.
The story becomes more personal when old flame, Sheriff Russell Bonham, reveals that Amber Reynolds, a grad student writing a thesis for her art history major, was attacked while on her way to speak to Jessie's family about two missing Thomas Moran masterpieces worth millions. The paintings disappeared nearly a hundred years ago from St. Benedict's Mission School. Right after the unsolved murder of Jessie's great aunt Kate.
Jessie O’Bourne is delighted to be the invited guest artist at the Crooked Creek Art Expo held annually in Montana during March. Mother Nature is still blasting the area with snow and ice. Jessie moves herself and her tomcat, Jack, out of her cold, but beloved motorhome, the Hawk, into the warmth and luxurious accommodations of the old log lodge hosting the art show.
When Jessie discovers a dead body was hidden in the Hawk during her absence, she’s thrown into a complex murder investigation tied to the death of a teenager. Soon, threatening notes and tiny toy tractors are delivered to her door and she calls on her big Norwegian friend, Detective Sergeant Arvid Abrahmsen, and old flame, Sheriff Russell Bonham, of Sage Bluff, to help investigate. Surrounded by painters and sculptors, Jessie is horrified to think that one of her talented friends is a killer.
FBI art theft agent, Grant Kennedy, arrives in Crooked Creek to attend the auction and joins forces with Arvid and Russell. Their goal is to find the murderer before the latest death threat slipped under Jessie’s door becomes a reality.
DEATH at CROOKED CREEK, the second Jessie O'Bourne art mystery recently won an award on the first chapter in the Idaho Writers' Guild in 2017.
THE GINGERBREAD MAN won honorable mention in the 2018 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition
. . . It’s as tightly woven and beautifully crafted as Cherry's paintings...I couldn’t put the book down. Kendra Page, Florida
A 2014 award winner - Great Beginnings competition (mystery genre) hosted by the Romance Writers of America...Utah chapter and an Award Finalist in the Reader's Favorites International 2016 Mystery/Sleuth competition