Despite cooler fall temperatures in Washington, D.C., tempers flare at the White House when important historical documents go missing from the curator’s office and the gardeners are blamed. As if that isn’t bad enough, Casey has started receiving death threats, the president’s pooch is digging unsightly holes all over the South Lawn, and the curator has been found dead. All evidence for the murder points to Gordon Sims, the chief gardener. His fingerprints are on the murder weapon, and witnesses saw him arguing with the curator shortly before her death.
With the help of Special Agent Jack Turner, her reluctant sidekick and new flame, Casey works to clear Gordon’s name. Along the way she finds herself in a deadly race against time to discover if there’s a link between the stolen papers, the dog’s holes in the South Lawn, and a rumored two-hundred-year-old treasure—before the killer strikes again…
“A bright blossom in the garden of cozy mysteries.” —Jacklyn Brady, author of Cake on a Hot Tin Roof
“Credible characters, a fast-paced plot, and a light look at political life in Washington, D.C., will delight cozy fans.”—Publishers Weekly
“[A] delightful debut mystery…just the ticket for all us flustered and withered gardeners… Fans of cozy mysteries will adore this new series, and are sure to find themselves anxious for the next installment!” —Fresh Fiction
"A potboiler of homicide, blackmail, journalism, power and sex—but one that St. James handles with taste as well as verve —The Scarlet Pepper fulfills the promise of last year’s series debut, Flowerbed of State, and then some."—Richmond Times-Dispatch