Sheriff Dan Rhodes of Blacklin County, Texas--a low-keyed loner (Cursed to Death) addicted to his dog Speedo, old movies, bologna sandwiches, and Dr. Pepper--is uneasily contemplating his upcoming marriage to pretty Ivy Daniel. His tiny office and jail are manned by deputy Ruth Grady and old-timers Hack and Lawton. Elderly widow Sammie McGee--lone winter resident at a local lakeside community of scattered summer homes--has reported seeing a moving van in the area. Dan's follow-up finds several totally looted houses, one of them with a trussed-up corpse in a closet. The corpse is identified as Sula Clayton, separated from insurance salesman Ted and recently involved with a neighboring teacher named Washburn. In the meantime, Dan has another problem--someone is stealing jewelry from the bodies of the recently departed at Clyde Ballinger's Funeral Home, and Clyde sees his family business going down the tubes. But a violent, frustrating run-in with the house thieves, a visit to a miles-long flea market, and some intuitive guesses clean up the crime wave--and eventually lead to an unsurprising murderer. Dan's laconic, laid-back style permeates an unpretentious, rather dull story. The twangy backwoods Texas ambiance and a sheriff who doesn't smoke, drink or cuss are refreshing enough to keep boredom at bay--but only by a hair.