VERONICA MARS meets WILD WILD COUNTRY. At a California college built atop a flooded 1850s mine, music major Lou Bancroft and novice PI Jimmy Tsang investigate the bizarre gold-worshiping cult that runs the school as they track a killer.
The notes growl and click around the mandolin’s wooden scroll, a cool throatiness slicing through the air. Lou rakes the pick downward across the strings, over and over, her eyes finally drooping shut. Come on, sleep. She switches to the bare pad of her thumb, softer and softer, the clustered chords receding like a faraway harp—
—until an angry electric buzz zaps her out of it.
It takes her a second to recognize the sound as the vibration of her phone on the end table next to her bed. Someone’s calling her from an unknown number. The clock on her phone says 5:46am.
She answers and mutters something unintelligible.
“Lou? It’s Myra.”
“Dude, it’s like zero o’clock,” she says. “What’s wrong?”
“Someone died,” Myra says, her breath coming in ragged huffs. “In the dorms. A boy.”
Lou is deeply confused. Myra and Lou share an apartment on campus. She’s calling from just down the hall?
“Where are you?” she asks as she places the mandolin gently into its case on the floor.
“I, uh, stayed over with a sophomore last night,” Myra says. “I’m in Barks, on the 100 floor? My shitty phone died and I left my charger at home.”
“Okay,” Lou says. She’s still slightly music-drunk.
Myra talks quickly, in a fierce whisper. “I got up hella early to slip out before the RA catches me and tells the quarryman. Mama’s got a scholarship to keep, right? I was pulling on my boots and peeking out the blinds, and there was a… a body. In the mineyard.”