What can explain the epidemics of suicide in Farrell County, wonders Shelbie Wilson, spunky divorcee and curator of the local historical society. Every 25 years, a half-dozen or so people pop off after one of them comes into mysterious wealth. Can it possibly have anything to do with the indescribably ancient and sinister little pewter figures that are found nearby each suicide victim? Could the figures contain ""some kind of vampire--not the kind that sucks your blood but one that could siphon off your--your life force?"" When Shelbie's old beau turns up with a recently-suicided uncle, and her ex-husband seems to be acting unusually creepy (even for him), Shelbie must find out the truth. Nancy Drew meets and beats the Cthonic deities with horse sense and a good flashlight.