The Holiday Decoration Competition is in full swing at Newcastle's historic Paul Revere Inn. As the rivalry heats up, crossword editor Belle Graham unearths an abandoned treasure: a book of dessert recipes written in the form of crosswords handed down from mother to daughter.
The residents of the bucolic Massachusetts hamlet are up in arms. A developer has bought the sprawling Quigley homestead, and his construction crew is causing a ruckus digging up the land. The noise stops abruptly when a female skeleton is found buried in the garden.
Playboy Thompson C. Briephs has just been found strangled in his bed. The police believe the Newcastle Herald crossword editor, a scion of a blue-blooded New England family, died from kinky sex gone wrong. But cop-turned-private investigator Rosco Polycrates thinks there's a six-letter word for what happened. Enlisting the help of Annabelle Graham, the crossword editor for a rival paper, Rosco unearths a crazy quilt of suspects who had it in for the victim - and one of them was blackmailing him.
Belle Graham and her canine bodyguards, Kit and Gabby, are enjoying their daily outing in the local dog park with new friends Karen Tacete; her daughter, Lily; and their dog, Bear. But Karen's picture-perfect life shatters when her husband, Dan, fails to return home. He's barely been declared officially missing when Karen receives a ransom note that includes a dire warning: If she contacts the police or the FBI, Dan dies.
There's one corpse too many in this ingenious mystery featuring husband-and-wife sleuth duo PI Rosco Polycrates and crossword editor Belle Graham. The residents of the bucolic Massachusetts hamlet are up in arms. A developer has bought the sprawling Quigley homestead, and his construction crew is causing a ruckus digging up the land. The noise stops abruptly when a female skeleton is found buried in the garden.
Newlyweds Rosco Polycrates and Belle Graham are settling into life with a new puppy in their charming New England townhouse when Belle's estranged father sets out to visit them. Except renowned anthropologist Theodore A. Graham never makes it off the train. According to the coroner, he died of a heart attack aboard the Amtrak to Newcastle. Now Belle is flying down to Florida to dispose of the effects of a man she barely knew.
With Christmas approaching, Belle Graham and her husband, Rosco Polycrates, are getting into the holiday spirit. While Belle does her part creating a Noel crossword contest, Rosco dons red suit and snowy beard to collect toys for the town's annual children's drive. But his good will starts to dim when he and two Newcastle Police Department colleagues are mistaken for escaped convicts masquerading as small-town Santas.
A homeless man has been found in an alley, clobbered to death. The crime seems pretty cut and dried - vagrants fighting over turf - until the Newcastle Police Department uncovers a connection to a local shelter in danger of being taken over by greedy developers. Is the dead John Doe a victim of some sinister plot? And what became of the scruffy mutt he had recently adopted?
Jamaica Nevisson - or Cassandra Lovett, as she's known to the adoring fans of her daytime soap - has vanished without a trace. She and her pal, Genie Pepper, went pleasure yachting off Nantucket, only to end up lost at sea. So far only the charred hull of the boat has turned up.
Belle Graham is mired in New England's snowy, late-January gloom when Hollywood comes calling. Seduced by visions of relaxing poolside in sunny Los Angeles, she heads to Hollywood to create a puzzle for a TV movie based on a crime she and her husband Rosco Polycrates recently cracked. The hook is that the show is interactive - viewers get to solve the crime on air with Belle.
Belle Graham hears it first from the gossip columnist for the Evening Crier, where Belle is resident crossword editor. Fire has destroyed one of the stables at King Wenstarin Farms - the multimillion-dollar corporation owned by the notorious Collins clan - and the barn manager lies in a coma. Did someone torch the place? That's what Belle's PI husband Rosco Polycrates has been hired to find out.
The husband-and-wife sleuth team is back in five tales of holiday mystery and mayhem. "Holly, Jolly Roger" takes Belle and Rosco to sunny St. Lucia in the Caribbean as they try to decipher the clues to a legendary buried treasure. "The Mystery of Wordsworth House" may remain just that unless Belle and Rosco can turn their stay at a snowy Montreal inn into a chance for a family to solve the riddle of their past... with the help of a ghost.