Pepperfish Keys is set along the northwestern coast of Florida's Big Bend. The area is a little backward in some ways, it seems. Special Agent Barrett Raines, a.k.a., Bear, is the first of very few African-American investigators working for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Bear is not at a good time in his life. His wife Laura Ann who runs a local restaurant is suffering from a depression that she doesn't seem to be able to shake off. Bear and the boys are just trying to keep up a normal family life until Laura recovers.
Sharon Fowler, local newswoman, has had a hey-day with the fact that an investigation run by Agent Raines has been stopped by a local judge. Raines was in the process of investigating Senator Baxter Stanton suddenly increased funds for his election campaign. Bear was receiving information from Taylor Calhoun, a secret source, but Taylor has disappeared.
When Senator Stanton's daughter Beth Ann is found murdered in the Senator's mansion, all kinds of questions seem to surface. Eddy DeLeon, a real skudbag, and a dealer in stolen films as well as other illegal operations, seems to be a big part of the picture.
As the investigation proceeds, Bear finds that he must depend more than he would like on newswoman Sharon Fowler as a source. Dew Drop, Sharon's camera man, is tired of Sharon's overbearing ways and decides he is going to get a piece of the action when Sharon makes her goal of being a New York TV celebrity.
There are several exciting mysteries in this story and Bear has to work his way through them. The story is exciting and the characters are very real. Some you will have sympathy for and some will disgust you but the author pulls it all together to make a great story with just a few surprises at the end. I have missed Wimberley's other books in this series but I do intend to correct that.
Armchair Interviews says: Another good book in this wonderful series.