A gun-toting college professor arrives in Eastport, Maine, looking for revenge.
Ignoring the fact that she’s hosting a party the next day in honor of retired schoolteacher Merrie Fargeorge, whose Eastport pedigree is ancient, Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree has just taken a sledgehammer to the bathroom in her 200-year-old fixer-upper when Dave DiMaio arrives on her doorstep certain that he knows who murdered his friend Horace Robotham, a rare-book expert who was vetting the strange old volume Jake discovered in her foundation (Trap Door, 2007, etc.). The police have written it off as a mugging gone bad, but Dave is sure the perpetrator is his old college classmate Bert Merkle, an eccentric forger of old books. Jake and her fellow sleuth Ellie White get caught up in Dave’s hunt for the killer after someone pushes a local writer to a watery death and a video-game-obsessed teenaged friend of Merkle is found poisoned, a death the state police consider an accident. Jake is also dealing with Merrie, who’s annoyed by the uproar; her son, recently out of rehab; and her father, who wants to marry her housekeeper. Jake, Ellie and Dave have several exciting adventures and near-death experiences before the case is resolved.
Fans of Jake and her Eastport pals will enjoy this convoluted tale, packed equally with incidents and tips on household repair.