When small items disappear throughout the town, the residents are up in arms! Pickax has seldom fallen victim to "big city" crimes, particularly during the holiday season. But after the bridge club's money is stolen, the townspeople decide that there is more to this mystery. The rash of petty thievery started when banker Willard Carmichael and his much younger (and flashier) wife, Danielle, moved to Pickax from Down Below. Along with their big-city lifestyle, Willard brought plans to restore the Victorian houses on Gingerbread Alley (fondly known as Pleasant Street). Unfortunately, Willard is murdered in an apparent mugging Down Below. When a local man is accused of the thievery, newspaper columnist Jim Qwilleran has serious questions about the recent crimes plaguing Pickax. For one thing, Danielle's cousin Carter Lee seems too eager to pick up where Willard left off in the restoration project. When he begins to romance wealthy widow Lynette Duncan, things really go awry. It's up to Qwill, Koko and Yum Yum to set the town right and bring the guilty party to justice before both the Duncan family fortune and Pickax are destroyed by greed.