Death at the Old Mill Pond (2012)
The ancient mill pond is cooled by cypress trees and Spanish moss, but the Armstrong grist mill is steamy with activity. The neighbors are arriving by mule and wagon, to grind corn. Their friendly chatter is interrupted by someone’s shout. “Looka yonder. Ain’t dat a body in the water?” Sheriff Raymond Wilson and Phil Armstrong motor out to find a massive body – Fats Wiggins, recently acquitted of murdering the miller’s grandson Troy McKay, a young colored man. The jury refused to punish a white man for killing a Negro. Some suspect Troy’s family, but young Zanna and Beau Armstrong have known the McKays all their lives, and are determined to help the sheriff find the real killer. The sleuths soon lose count of the many people wanting Fats dead: his battered wife Naomi; their terrified children; those permanently blinded by drinking his illicit moonshine whiskey; his sister’s widower; or did the McKay family really take the law into their own hands? As they get closer to the truth, Zanna and Beau are threatened. To keep them safe, Sheriff Wilson must work faster than ever to find the real truth. But at the end of the journey, there is an amazing twist to the tale!