After years of subjugating herself to family needs , Meg Porter is desperate for adventure, which she equates with a paid vacation. Despite knowing nothing about northern Alberta or working in a remote nursing station, she takes a job in the hamlet of Whiskeyjack.

Meg is dismayed that she shares a house with Dan McLaughlin, a loner she finds attractive, but disturbing. Within hours, she’s involved in a suspicious death investigation. Within days, her housekeeper quits, a joke she plays on Dan misfires, missing gold coins surface, and Meg might have seen a ghost. This is no vacation.


Dennis turned in a slow circle, pointing clockwise down one side of the street and back. “Alberta Government Telephone, Macy’s garage, Anglican mission church, store and cafe, fire hall, Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment, curling rink, and weather research station. The school is on the other side of that clump of bushes.”

What more could I possibly need?”

Dennis muttered, “Civilization,” but he looked pleased that she seemed satisfied.

“There’s a road behind Macy’s garage that leads to some houses. Behind the school, is a double row of trailers. A lot of families live in my logging camp.”

My logging camp, with emphasis on the possessive. Did Dennis Randall own Whiskeyjack? If he could be a cheeky bastard, she could, too. “Do you own this town?”

He leaned against his truck, folded his arms, and scuffed a booted toe in the dirt. “I guess you could say the Randall family has a higher than average interest in this town.”

“In other words, you own it.”

“In other words, we do.”

“That embarrasses you?”


Meg waved her hand in a come on, tell-me-more circle, but Dennis shook his head. “Some other time.”