Small town newspaper editor Elias Hackshaw is his usual irascible self when he becomes embroiled in Kirkville’s fight to keep the county from building its new landfill within town limits. The NIMBY forces—Not In My Back Yard—are united against the proposal, and against Hackshaw when, in an editorial in the Triton Advertiser, he comes out in favor of the project. It doesn’t help matters when it gets out that Hack has an ulterior motive for his support; a chance to move and rehabilitate—at a tidy profit—an historic house that sits on the proposed landfill property. In an attempt to appease the NIMBY crowd, Hack agrees to interview crotchety Elton Venable, the head honcho of a group calling itself KRUDD—Kirkville Residents United to Defeat the Dump. Alas, Hack shows up for the interview only to find Venable as stiff as the floorboards he’s sprawled out on. Murdered, naturally. And, naturally, Hackshaw immediately becomes everybody’s favorite suspect.