When her husband is offered a post at a small northwestern university, Maye Roberts is only too happy to pack up and leave the relentless Phoenix heat for the lush green quietude of Spaulding, Washington. While she loves the odd little town, there is one thing she didn't anticipate: just how heartbreaking it would be to leave her Phoenix friends behind. And when you're a childless 30-something freelance writer who works at home, making new friends can be quite a challenge.
After a series of false starts nearly gets her banished from the town, Maye decides that her last chance to connect with her new neighbors is to enter the annual Sewer Pipe Queen Pageant, a kooky but dead-serious local tradition open to contestants of all ages and genders. Aided by a deranged former pageant queen with one eyebrow, Maye doesn't just make a splash; she uncovers a sinister mystery that has haunted the town for decades.