Heidi on the Halfshell
Cummings originally came to Maine to solve the murder of his late partner, Terry. This accomplished, he has to decide what to do next: stay in Maine or move on?
While Cummings is struggling with this, there is another murder. Dolly Doolittle, a famous Broadway lyricist who lived her later years in Maine, tumbles down the back stairs of her house and dies from the resulting injuries.
A few days later, while browsing in an antique shop, Cummings meets Yew Huntington, a costume conservator from Chicago, who is buying a 1960’s paper dress that may have been owned by Jackie Kennedy. As they exit the shop, three teenage girls assault them and steal the garment.
Dolly’s demise – and the paper dress – lead Cummings to discover another murder, that of Francesca Bacon, the child star of Doolittle’s 1968 flop musical, Heidi on the Half Shell. (The show was an update of the children’s classic, in which the title character was reinvented as an underage prostitute in Times Square.)
Ultimately, Cummings discovers the connection between the paper dress, Bacon’s murder and Doolittle’s accident, thus explaining another series of inexplicable murders. In so doing, he also decides what to do in the next phase of his life.