When the skull of Grace Mulholland, an office manager who disappeared 18 years ago with $233,000 from the insurance company she worked for, turns up buried under Jacko's Pool Hall, private eye Charlie Bradshaw, tormented by the way he handled the case as a cop back in 1974--he persuaded his boss that reclusive, painfully shy Mulholland had fled alone to Mexico--takes a long second look at the surviving cast, and at the ghost of his old, unrecognizable self. Meanwhile, Charlie is waiting for Maximum Tubbs, an old gambler, to finish dying, and he's getting threatening letters from Virgil Darcy, a paroled bank robber who swore revenge when Charlie put him away. As usual, literate, melancholy Charlie (Saratoga Hexameter, etc.) stands head and shoulders above the faceless cast of suspects, who, here, mainly provide him with an excuse to ruminate about time and death. Who cares whodunit when it's coming to everybody?