When Connor Westphal and the residents of the gold-country town of Flat Skunk realize that the ubiquitous wooden dummy hanging in front of the town's gold-mining shop has been exchanged for the body of Zander Nicholas, Connor's determined to get the scoop on this story. Questions and theories compel her to take a closer look at the fringe groups—religious cults, survivalists, environmentalists, pot growers, and gamblers, to name a few.
Complicating Connor's life is the reappearance of her former boyfriend, Josh, newly widowed, and proposing marriage. For Connor, this is an unsettling issue because her current love, Dan, had also proposed recently. Afraid of losing her independence, she's avoided giving Dan an answer. With all the personal turmoil and quirky, not-so-friendly suspects milling about, it's no surprise that Penny Warner's Dead Man's Hand is a fun and fast-paced read.