Even the beauty of Northern Michigan can't put a smile on the face of Emily Kincaid's perpetually cranky friend Deputy Dolly Wakowski, and when someone tries to destroy the only family Dolly has ever had, her crankiness turns lethal, even as the crime threatens to overwhelm her. Still struggling in her career as a mystery writer, Emily takes a deep breath before stepping in to help. As they launch their search for Dolly's assailant and the investigation deepens, two strange clues emerge: the attacker's trademark black jellybeans and a note to Dolly reading "Thou Shalt Not Steal." With Dolly's disposition growing more sour by the day and Emily growing more curious, the two encounter a violent and abusive boyfriend, dig up old clues from Dolly's painful past, and strengthen a friendship that's as odd as it is perfect. But before Dolly and Emily can puzzle it all out, a loved one of Dolly's will be murdered, another will be kidnapped, and a long-awaited confrontation between a mother and a daughter will heal at the very moment it kills.