Free-lance reporter T.S.W. Sheridan (The Dry White Tear, 1989) is again embroiled in a murder case when his pen-pal, college history professor and crime buff Stefan Janezek, dies mysteriously--and when Janezek's research papers are then forwarded to Sheridan, most of them having to do with the 50-year-old Castle House Murder, a tragedy that killed almost 20 people in the Thousand Islands community of Widows Cape, New York. Nursing-home resident Howard Johnson fills Sheridan in on the details, which involved small, time bootlegger Jack Rose and his plans to rob the ""Castle's"" owner--and then run off with the owner's daughter. The more Sheridan snoops, however, the more the present-day town mayor, the town justice, and the Canadian megamillionaire Maurice Dupree, and their think-tank conferences held at the now-rebuilt Castle seem suspicious. Meanwhile, a pair of menacing types has moved into the motel room next door to Sheridan's. Eventually, it will take a wild shooting-spree, along with some explanations from the FBI, to separate the long-ago murder story from the current doings at the Castle--which involves nefarious smuggling by members of the Irish National Liberation Army. Overly complicated, but with a clever identity, switching twist to the old mystery tale. Sheridan, however, seems to have lost his sense of humor--which is really too bad.