The late Philip R. Craig was the author of nineteen novels in the Martha’s Vineyard Mystery series. A professor emeritus of English at Wheelock College in Boston, he loved the Vineyard and lived there year-round with his wife, Shirley.
A former cop gone private, Rasmussen makes a living in the decaying New England mill town of Lowell, Massachusetts. Lowell is also the hometown of Good Night Show host Jerry Corbin, whose career has started to slump in recent years. Corbin and his entourage have come to town to film the pilot episode for a new series designed to boost his sagging star quotient and rescue his ratings. Unfortunately, someone's been sending Corbin hate mail, and an off-the-record investigation is in order.
Enter Rasmussen, whose familiarity with TV consists of whatever's on the set in his local bar between sporting events. He's game for the job, though, and soon finds himself one of the insiders in Corbin's camp. Digging into Corbin's life to find out who wants to destroy him, Rasmussen learns that there are old secrets someone wants kept and old grudges someone wants satisfied. Corbin may have been on the fringes of these events, but now he has become the prime target.
Convinced she's uncovered a scheme to separate a lonely woman from her fortune, Sarah Booth talks her way onto the estate as a maid, where she finds Marjorie and several other wealthy eccentrics ready to commune with the dead. Between chores, Sarah Booth explores the estate, mingles with the other staff...and finds a few dead bodies. But which guest or staff member might be the killer? Even Jitty, Sarah Booth's personal haint, won't tell until Sarah Booth has uncovered all of Sherry's well-kept secrets.
With spooks and charlatans around every corner, Sarah Booth is the only PI in the southlands who can put an end to this elaborate scam in Bonefire of the Vanities, the charming twelfth entry in Carolyn Haines's sparkling series.