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A detective comes back from the dead to solve his own murder. Off early from work for a change, Detective Oliver "Tuck" Tucker investigates a noise in his house and is shot dead. He immediately returns in ghostly form to view the crime scene. His wife, Angel, a history professor involved in a nearby Northern Virginia dig, calls his partner, Bear Braddock, whom Tuck watches search the house and hide away one of Tuck's files. His captain, who thinks Bear is too personally involved to investigate the murder, assigns two other cops, one of them very suspicious of Bear, whom he suspects of having more than a friendly interest in Angel. Several Civil War–era bodies have been dug up at Kelly Orchard Farms, where a local builder who's been excavating for a bypass fumes about the fortune he'll have to spend while waiting for historians to try to determine just how important the find is. Could he be behind Tuck's death? Or, since the hit looks very professional, could the killer be a local mobster with ties to Kelly's whom Tuck and Bear had been investigating? Tuck is slow to adjust to his new status, but he slowly gains knowledge and strength. His dog, Hercule, senses his presence from the first, and eventually Angel understands that she can talk to him and becomes his partner in trying to uncover a murderer intent on making her the next victim. O'Connor's debut in the increasingly crowded ghost-detective genre provides plenty of suspects and an eclectic mix of motives among the living.