Carl Wilcox--the quasi-reformed ne'er-do-well/sleuth-in-spite-of-himself in Depression-era, Corden, So. Dakota (The Man Who Met the Train; The Barbed Wire Noose)--is left to manage his stroke-stricken Father's hotel when calamity occurs: "Heart" Turner, the star of Corden's only winning football team of ten seasons ago, is murdered in the shower. Who among those at the footballers' reunion might have done it, and why? Perhaps dour Coach Titus, whose pregnant, groupy daughter Bunny was (possibly) gang-raped after that long-ago victory party. When Phil, another of Bunny's attackers, is also killed (with a slingshot) on an attended-by-everybody pheasant hunt, Carl diffidently but persistently starts checking alibis very carefully--including that of Margaret, newly hired at the hotel, who may/may nor be a widow and man/may not have a daughter living in California. Uncovering affairs, past and current (and starting one himself), Carl moves through a slew of musty, tawdry, and ultimately pathetic encounters with Bunny's friends and relatives--until the killer's identity, which dismays and saddens just about everybody, is known. Grim, and burdened with unappealing characters, laconic swipes at God-fearing Lutherans, and an abetting wife whose motif is shaky, to say the least. A downer, and not for most leisure readers.