Charlotte Baskerville is the founder of Petey’s Closet, a clothing catalog for small dogs. When the glowing form of Charlotte’s dead Chihuahua appears, the staff of Tripping Magazine investigates. Is it a ghost, or someone teaching a dead dog new tricks – like murder?
Tripping Magazine is a low-budget travel rag covering destinations of supposedly paranormal interest. Charlotte represents the perfect story – not only is she haunted, but she lives in Manitou Springs, Colorado, home of the Emma Crawford Memorial Coffin Race and other macabre entertainments. Tripping’s three-person staff — Angus MacGregor (editor and opportunist), Michael Abernathy (skeptic and wannabe novelist) and Suki Oota (highly sexed photographer) – goes to Manitou Springs, where the ghost howls advice and spells out threats in tiny paw prints. Is it real, or the creation of someone who wants the Baskerville fortune, over Charlotte’s dead body?
There are plenty of suspects. Charlotte’s hateful husband, Thomas, lost the family fortune, then watched his wife rebuild it with tiny doggy dresses. He wants to start a respectable business with Bob Hume, the man with a plan for fruit-filled dog food. Ellen Froehlich, creator of Petey’s designs, should be Charlotte’s partner but is only an employee. Would she kill to own the business? Cheri, the Baskerville’s alcoholic granddaughter, sulks in a cloud of strawberry perfume and thwarted desires. Is she plotting with Ivan Blotski, the Russian wolf-trainer who wants Charlotte to finance his TV show?
Angus, Michael and Suki review restaurants and dodge out-of-control coffins while trying to keep Charlotte safe and still get the story for Tripping Magazine.