James P. (Jim) Dandy, a grieving widower, could hardly believe he'd agreed to go to an Elderhostel to learn to grow and care for bonsai trees. He didn't feel up to meeting new people alone. But Jim went and he met some real corkers - artist Dodee Swisher who set his heart on fire; his gruff, ex-army-man roommate; a raven-haired gymnast who exercised on the balcony every morning. Any one of them could have rammed that bonsai tree into the chest of a motel employee, but the authorities were clearly focusing their attention on Jim and Dodee...
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Alice Atwater Aunt Alice balcony Barney barrier island beach Belinda Smith Billy Dack Billy's blackmail blinked blue eyes body Bolder Harbor bomber jacket bonsai class bonsai master car coat cassette chest Clarence coffee Consuelo crew-cut damn desk detective Dodee asked Dodee Swisher Dodee's door Elderhostel face floor front gave going guess hair hand hell jacket Jim asked Jim Dandy Jim turned Jim's Juan Valdez Kelly Massey last night Lee Sullivan lobby looked meat loaf Miettlinens murder Okawa Okay parking lot patio penlight picked pocket police pulled Ramon Samuel Adams Shazam shit shook his head shovel shrugged side slipped smile someone Sonny Sonofabitch stared street supposed swung tape recorder tell there's thing thought Tiffany Crew told took trees Uh-huh voice waited walk whispered Winnie woman wondering Yeah