Dan Rhodes, the sheriff of Blacklin County, Texas, has seen more than his share of strange events during his time in office-most recently he exorcised a ghost from the county jail and he has always tolerated the banter between his elderly jailer and dispatcher. However, not even Hack and Lawton's friendly word play could have prepared him for the group of writers that have descended upon Blacklin County.
When Vernell Lindsey, Clearview's newly published romance novelist, decides to hold a romance writer's convention, residents think this will finally get their town on the map. They are even more excited when they learn that former Clearview resident Terry Don Coslin will headline the event-Terry Don is now the most sought after male cover model for these very novels.
Rhodes doesn't understand why so many people are interested in writing, but this becomes the least of his concerns when a local aspiring novelist is found dead in her room at the college. Was her death the work of a jealous rival? Or did her new book get a bit too close to certain people's real lives? As he investigates, Rhodes begins to learn more about the publishing industry and some sordid facts Terry Don. Is he at all connected to the murder? When another murder occurs, Rhodes receives the unwelcome aid of two aspiring novelists, eager to switch from romance to mysteries. Their theories are a little too far from the truth, but Rhodes does make some headway on his own.
Relying on his trademark common sense and cunning and the help of his deputy sheriff Ruth Grady, Rhodes is able to solve the murders although he still can't figure out why so many people want to write a novel.