1/series. There is always an earlier crime; that's a maxim of mystery writers. Set in Asheville, at the fabulous Biltmore House, Sam Blackman is recovering from war wounds. He is befriended by a woman who is soon murdered; her sister wants to know why, and who. Blackman helps and sets off a chain of incidents that culminate in a grave robbery, a dig for a generations-old treasure, and an unexpected love. A 4.