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Discovering how a once-ornery theater worker became a crispy corpse with a missing arm ranks on Denton Rourke's, "Things I'd love to do" list slightly below having his wisdom teeth removed with a shovel.

But when Denton is offered actual money to assist, the community college teacher by day and amateur detective by whenever it suits him agrees to investigate the scene of the crime: an aging yet historic concert venue. Surprisingly, Denton's first major case doesn't spin out of control for almost an entire afternoon.

Then a powerful talent manager insists on an overly rapid resolution so his legendary band can play the theater without the minor inconvenience of being killed, and a pair of obtuse thugs with their own agenda stop by to visit. And to ensure complete chaos, Denton's long-time, fantastic girlfriend wrinkles his personal life by reaching her limit on giving affection to an emotional klutz with the romantic instincts of a frozen waffle.

As the body count rises, the loveable yet infuriating sleuth must control his mercurial demeanor and acerbic tongue as he evades inept goons, outwits home appliances, frees large, cranky birds, and tries to stop a madman's unthinkable scheme. Then if he has time (and isn't dead), Denton Rourke must convince the love of his life that he really is worth the effort.

Which task will prove the most impossible is anyone's guess.

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