When newly unemployed Faye Burner talks her sister Barb Evans into opening a detective agency, they begin with enthusiasm but soon run into problems. Most people in their small town simply can't imagine two fifty-something women tracking down leads and hauling criminals to justice. After months of boredom, they finally get a case that could prove their competence. Years earlier, a man accused of murdering his wife and brother-in-law escaped the police and has been missing ever since. His sister says he's innocent, and she hires Barb and Faye to find him and prove it. The case is exactly what they need, but police at all levels insist Neil Brown is guilty of the crimes. His father-in-law, powerful businessman Stanley Wozniak, is determined that when he's found, Neil will pay. Hoping to prove them all wrong, the Sleuth Sisters go to work. Faye and Barb's younger sister Retta has contacts that could help, and Faye includes her in the investigation. Barb disapproves, objecting to Retta's bossy, manipulative ways and preoccupation with her nails, clothes, and social life. Retta's more than willing to help, since it means working with the town's handsome new police chief. She's also willing to offer her "suggestions" for improving the agency. While Barb ignores Retta's interference, she also tries to ignore her own attraction to Chief Rory Neuencamp. When Neil Brown turns up, matters take a dangerous turn. Someone doesn't want the old crime re-examined, and things escalate from scare tactics to assault to murder. The Smart Detective Agency was designed as a two-woman operation, but the three sisters are going to have to work together in order to stay alive. Their chances are good, because when danger threatens sisters, crime-solving becomes a family thing.