I love the C.B. Greenfield cozies!
An Air Force base in bucolic upstate New York housing a B-52 squadron that will launch cruise missiles is a rather antiquated notion these days of computer-controlled everything. (Furthemore, haven't the B-52s been mothballed?) People, however, especially mothers, are much the same now as they were then, when women massed together at military installations around the world protesting military/nuclear capabilities.
Maggie Rose, a wife and mother, is also a writer for the small-town Sloan's Ford Reporter. The relationship with her curmudgeonly editor, C. B. Greenfield, is priceless in every regard. They battle constantly like a long-married couple, although there is really no romantic interest on the part of either one. But, in addition to the writing/reading aspect of their rapport, there is also their love of music: Maggie is a pianist, and C. B. a cellist. Their main indulgence is chamber music.
It should come as no surprise to Maggie to discover that C.B. belongs to an international amateur chamber music organization that allows traveling musicians to find like-minded companions for an evening's musical workout. The violinist who appears is much more than Maggie had ever anticipated as Penelope Heath-Morecombe is not only younger and professional, but a gorgeous red head, to boot!
The real crunch comes the following week when Maggie decides to visit a peace demonstration at Hunegger Mills, the town closest to the Air Force Base. Soon after she arrives there, and is assimilated into the group, she discovers none other than Penelope there, as well. And then there is a kidnapping of a rather famous right-wing spokeswoman, followed by a murder, and all the clues point to Penelope as the perpetrator. Astonishment follows rapidly when the elusive and allusive (author's wonderfully descriptive word there) C. B. appears on the scene, with his well-known ability to ferret out the most improbable secrets.
All the clues to the solution are right out there in plain sight, but Ms. Kallen's writing is so seductive that you just ignore them, luxuriating in the wonderful evocative thoughts and pictures she conjures up for our enjoyment. The ending makes perfect sense, but once again, we didn't see it coming. A magnificent book.