A good bartender is hard to find, so when Harry Rice's day help, Carla Meadows, leaves town for an unnamed relative's funeral and forgets to come back, shamus/bar-owner Harry tracks her to Angel's Cove, the Florida panhandle's answer to Gilligan's Island. Nobody could need Harry's help more, since Carla's father Charlie evidently phoned her warning that he was sending a package ($$$$) some four hours after the Medical Examiner says he died. And when Carla--who's already been scared by a hanged cat and attacked by a giant albino--makes an issue of the mystery, the M.E. sags, indicating that he can't be sure just when or how (heart attack? drowning? blow to the head?) her father died, and that it's too late to investigate further now that the body's been cremated. He then skedaddles. Nor do any of the other colorful fauna of Angel's Cove--a profit-minded mortician, a crusading non-revivalist, the activist fisherfolk who've been molded into a ragtag militia, the troglodyte officers of the law- -seem inclined to regret Charlie's passing or help his daughter and Harry take care of the stolen money Charlie sent his daughter, the pitched battle between net fishers and sport fishers, or the looniest development scam you've ever seen. Quixotic Harry has toned down his patter since his striking debut (The Harry Chronicles, 1995), but Pedrazas plots as generously, if even more raggedly, than before.