Librarian and small-town reporter Mira James discovers the dead body of the latest Milkfed Mary, Queen of the Dairy, while covering the Minnesota State Fair for the local newspaper. Milkfed Mary is teenaged Ashley Pederson. Mira is covering a carving of Ashley’s head in butter as part of the Queen of the Dairy ceremony when the lights go out in the Dairy building. A few moments later Mira finds Ashley on the floor of a refrigerated booth, her skin a strange shade of red.
Ashley’s body is the fifth Mira has discovered in the last few months.