Francis Hearty Withers assumed that everyone in the town of Witherston would be more than delighted when he announced his plans at his 100th birthday for the town and how his will was laid out. His plan was to build a Senextra pharmaceutical factory. Senextra had been the drug responsible for his health and longevity. In his will, one billion was to go to the municipality of Witherston and another billion would be divided equally to the present legal residents of Witherston. The truth of the matter hit Mr. Withers hard when he realized many people – environmentalists and others – were decidedly opposed to the factory being built within their town causing the destruction of acres of forestry. Many carried banners; some said KEEP NATURE NATURAL. Mr. Withers was appalled at the response and threatened to change his will, revoking the billion for the residents. One of the townspeople, Mev Arroyo (Detective Emma Evelyn Arroyo), told her husband that Mr. Withers would be dead before Monday when he could legally change his will. She was right.
As a reality check, the will of old man Withers, as presented within this story, wasn’t well written. To me, it wasn’t clear on the recipients of one billion dollars. There was no consideration given for the age of the recipients or a family as opposed to each individual within the town. The header dates of the chapters were confusing. For example, May 22, 2015, was referenced as Labor Day. However, with that said, it was a very intriguing mystery. I liked the characters, especially Mev, her husband, and their children. Many characters were introduced early; most had no real bearing on the story one way or another. Newspaper articles and police reports were spotted throughout and I really enjoyed reading some of these as they display small town trifle and fodder for their gossipers. In summary, it is a charming look at a small town where one man’s money tends to have a lot of sway. Rating: 3 out of 5.