"I can't play the concert," Sylvia Purcell said. "I have to sit in a tree."
Joan Spencer, manager of the local Civic Symphony, is up a tree herself when one of her top violinists deserts the orchestra right before a concert. Sylvia is looking for publicity in protest of a local environmentally-unfriendly construction project. But before she can be talked down peacefully, Sylvia crashes to the ground, right at the feet of Joan's son Andrew, and it's clearly no accident.
For Joan, the question of just who knocked Sylvia into the next world becomes far more interesting than making sure the orchestra is ready for the big event. Could Sylvia have been killed by the shifty contractor, who's always nearby? The Earth Freedom Fighters, who defaced his equipment? The source of the mysterious moving lights in the woods late at night? Or does all the evidence point to Joan's son Andrew himself? No one seems to have any answers, but the biggest question of all is particularly close to Joan's heart: Just how much danger Andrew in?
Sara Hoskinson Frommer is a true master of the atmospheric, small-town mystery, and Death Climbs a Tree is another superb entry in a series that continues to please.