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Francesca Vierling is always on the lookout for new fodder for her human-interest column in the St. Louis City Gazette. So she couldn’t be happier when a story unfolds in her own neighborhood. The grand—if slightly run-down—old houses of the South Side have become highly coveted overnight and renovators have sought to spruce them up.
But one renovator—known as Caroline the Rehab Wonderwoman—is a little overzealous and has been making more than home improvements. She has enemies all over the South Side, from disgruntled neighbors to intruding drug dealers to anyone who she considers not up to her standards. When those enemies start turning up dead, Caroline comes under suspicion—that is, until her own lifeless body is found with a gaudy pink flamingo lawn decoration planted in her chest.
With that many murders in a row, it doesn’t take Francesca long to discover that a tangled web of vendettas, backbiting, and gossip lies beneath the freshly painted facades.