Is it possible to kill a person who is already dead and has been in that non-living state for hundreds of years?

That’s the question facing DI (retired) Karl Blackman who most unretire to find the answer.

Karl hoped his retirement to coastal Cornwall from Cambridge would be idyllic and quiet. His new home, the picturesque village of Salmonweir overlooking the Cornish south coast between Treen and Lamorna Cove, away from the big tourist destinations was seemingly perfect in that respect. Salmonweir, in fact, had nothing to set it apart from any other sleepy Cornish village unaffected by mass tourism.

And that was the way Karl preferred it.

But Karl’s wife Valarie didn’t prefer it. What really tipped her over the edge and convinced her to return to Cambridge was the 500 ghosts who appeared from nowhere one Sunday morning in spring. Among them were Iron Age Warrior Queen on the lookout for Romans, a pirate crew on the lookout for rum, an Elizabethan poet on the lookout for a publisher, a Civil War puritan on the look out for Catholic royalists, and a medieval monk on the lookout for plague, with more arriving all the time.

Could it have got any weirder?

Ah, yes. the “murders”, and Karl’s un-retirement.