A dastardly murder and the kidnapping of a prize chicken threaten to ruin Caerphilly's fair—fortunately, Meg Langslow is on the case of The Hen of the Baskervilles
Meg Langslow is helping Mayor Randall Shiffley organize the Virginia Un-Fair, Caerphilly's entry in the race to replace the old state fair (which has gone bankrupt). Before a line can even form outside the ticket booth, however, a pair of Bantam Russian Orloff chickens are stolen from their coop in the chicken tent. Soon, a rash of vandalism crops up at the fair, showing no heritage farm animal, prize vegetable, or artisanal craft to be safe.
While patrolling the fairgrounds, determined to catch the perp, Meg runs into her friend Molly, who has been building a successful business making goat cheeses. Molly is terrified that she may lose her farm because her idle husband Brett has left her for Genette Sedgewick, a rich hobby winemaker, and is demanding his half of the land. Meg enlists Mother's help to find Molly a divorce lawyer, but later that night, Brett is found murdered and Molly is swiftly accused as his killer.
Meg is convinced that her friend wouldn't so much as harm a fly, but can she find the real killer before it's too late? Will she track down the vandal who has been terrorizing—however creatively—the fair's participants? And will Michael be able to convince her to add members of his new favorite heritage breed to their growing menagerie?
- Nominated for the Lefty Award for most humorous novel