Emma-Joy “EJ” Ferris, a security officer with the Fernglen Galleria, likes mall cop work, although it’s usually more humdrum than the military policing she did until an IED left her with a bum knee and a medical retirement at thirty-one.
Relocated to Vernonville, Virginia, 50 miles from Washington D.C., EJ deals with shoplifting teens, vandals spray-painting Christian graffiti on cars, and a boss who acts like the halls of Fernglen are the mean streets of Newark. She also copes with her 83-year-old Grandpa Atherton, a long-retired CIA operative who likes to “keep his hand in” by purchasing all the latest techno-gadgets and spying on mall customers and shopkeepers.
EJ’s boredom vanishes the week someone “liberates” all the reptiles, including a 15-ft python, from The Herpetology Hut (known to mall denizens as Herpes Hut) and a body turns up, posed as a mannequin, in the window of Diamanté, an upscale boutique. With the help of her mall “family”—her friend Kyra who runs the magic store; Joel, her fellow mall cop who hero-worships her; and the attractive and mysterious Jay Callahan who recently bought the cookie franchise—and her Grandpa Atherton, EJ must quickly catch the killer since fear of another murder is emptying the mall faster than you can say, “All sales final.”