Mary Elizabeth (""Liz""), last seen in The Dark and Deadly Pool (1987), is back for a mystery weekend at the Ridley Hotel, orchestrated by a well-known suspense writer and her actress daughter. Each member of the hotel staff is assigned a role, plus clues to divulge to the 150 mystery buffs who've checked in for the fun. A hotel room, said to be haunted, is supposed to be the scene of the faux crime, but Liz discovers a real body there--setting in motion overlapping storylines involving both authentic clues and false ones, genuine detectives and actors in trench coats. Nixon's many fans will love wading through the myriad details and placing bets on the outcome. Liz, a clumsy, upbeat heroine with a knack for getting in the thick of things, solves the mysteries with aplomb and even manages to put a sad and weary ghost to rest. The complicated story speeds along with a few bumps, but even these are handled with good humor by this reliable mystery writer.