An amateur naturalist dies of mushroom poisoning, a day later the local librarian kills herself, then the buried bones of an infant are discovered. Chicago native Leigh Girard is finding life in a small town can be fatal. Determined to start a new life after her mastectomy, Leigh flees to Wisconsin's Door County peninsula, where she takes a job as reporter for the local newspaper. Her first assignment, the naturalist's obituary, turns into a hunt for a murderer.
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On the eve of tourist season in the resort community of Doo County, Wisconsin, a killer is targeting young blond women, leaving their strangled bodies along the desolate Mink River. The killer ritualistically arranges the bodies to mimic sleep, except for the long blond hair, brushed over their faces, and his deadly calling card, a purple band wound around the victim's ring finger - a macabre symbol of love.
Twenty-three years ago, local actress Danielle Moyer vanished after starring in a play at the Bayside Theater. Her body was never found. Now the specter of her ghost has returned to haunt the Bayside Theater or - so it seems. A series of pranks is plaguing the theater, and someone is leaving bizarre clues in the abandoned Moyer cabin. Door County Gazette reporter Leigh Girard, who's writing an article on the theater, chalks the pranks up to theatrical hijinks.