Sheriff Ike Schwartz and his longtime love, college president Ruth Harris, have to plan their wedding reception around a couple of corpses.
Their nightmarish trip to Maine (Scone Island, 2012) has left Ike and Ruth in desperate need of relaxation. After one particularly well-lubricated evening in Vegas, however, the pair wakes up with joint hangovers as well as foggy memories of the Budding Rose Wedding Chapel. Too ashamed to admit they’re already hitched, they slink home and badger Picketsville’s Episcopal priest, the Rev. Blake Fisher, into blessing their civil union in a public ceremony fit to celebrate the ultimate union of town and gown. But Andy Lieux’s dog throws a hitch into their getting hitched by digging up not one but two dead bodies in the woods by the old spring. The first is Ethyl Smut, a skanky meth-head who locals agree should have been put out of her misery long ago. The second turns up in the FBI’s dental files as Tony Barbarini, a mobster supposedly sent to Davy Jones’ locker years ago by a couple of thugs named Johnny Murphy and Alphonse Damato. This little discrepancy sends federal agent Karl Hedrick, formerly Ike’s deputy, scrambling back to Picketsville. Even with Karl’s help, the investigation stalls. Worst of all, Darla Smut, the one person who might know who killed her mom, disappears, and Ike knows that if he doesn’t find Darla fast, deadly dangerous drug dealer George LeBrun just might beat him to her.
Why Picketsville’s first Jewish sheriff is hellbent on a church wedding is just one of the mysteries that doesn’t get solved in Ramsay’s otherwise highly entertaining ninth.