His career in shambles, a newspaperman looks for a new start in rural Louisiana Pete Brady is in a bar on Magazine Street, halfway through his third Manhattan, when he gets a message from the New Orleans underworld. In response to Pete's recent investigation into drug trafficking, they have sent him a message: slitting his favorite source's throat, ear to ear. Even a Pulitzer Prize can't get that image out of Pete's head, and so he bolts, moving to desolate Troy, Louisiana, where he buys a failing newspaper and tries to turn it into a force for good. But death is not through with Pete Brady. While tidying the graves in the local churchyard, a group of society ladies discover the body of Frieda Troy MacBride, gossip columnist, whose acid tongue has finally gotten her killed. As he struggles to keep his little paper from going under, Brady must unmask this small-town slayer before every writer on staff meets the same fate.