A second appearance of ""Hack"" Hackshaw, a newspaper columnist in upstate Kirkville, finds him visiting Larkspur, the Victorian house he longs to restore, and discovering the dead body of Elton Venable in the foyer. Elton, chairman of KRUDD (Kirkville Residents United to Defeat the Dump), had recently fought with Hack over the latter's sudden defense of the dump--making Hack a prime suspect in the murder. When Hack engineers an anonymous call to the police about the body, nothing happens--for days. No wonder. When he checks up, the body has disappeared. It finally resurfaces--in Hack's woodpile! Who's responsible? Elton's wife Clare wanted his insurance payoff, but other possibilities include a greedy politician rumored to be her lover and the wealthy owner of the waste-management company pushing for the dump. Meanwhile, Hack has to evade the kinky sexual flurries of a landmark-commission lady; outsmart two young journalists; blackmail his lover's smarmy ex-husband; and share a few hours with another corpse in the Larkspur root cellar. Reminiscent of Hitchcock's ""The Trouble With Harry,"" with the corpse popping up when least expected. Amusing--but without the tough edge of The Twenty-Acre Plot.