After an 11-year hiatus, Police Chief Knute Severson of Wellesley, Mass., returns, here to investigate three atypical geriatric deaths at the retirement village of Shangrila. The elderly Roseanna (entombed in a walk-in fridge), the aged Evangeline (strapped to her wheelchair and submerged in the pool), and the past-prime Ward (blasted while cleaning his gun) were all participants in a journal-writing class conducted by another senior citizen, Delilah Ventress, a successful romance-novelist. As their outpourings reveal, all had prior tragedies in their lives, though none seem connected to each other. Was there a link? Were their deaths retribution? Or were they, possibly, guilt-induced suicides--and, if so, what prodded them to fatally capitulate after all these years? Assisted by Officer Alice Buono, Severson solves the (maybe) murders/ (maybe) suicides, while coping with his own tragedy: wife Brenda, returning from a secret assignation on the Cape with her married lover, is killed in a car accident. The most interesting story within a story is Ward's. But, overall, this is the same old heavy-handed stuff from a none-too-talented old hand.