At the annual convention of the American Booksellers Association Convention, everything goes wrong. Julia Child's cooking demonstration in the Random House aisle blows up and catches fire. A top New York editor catches a pie in the face. Invitations to the most exclusive publisher's party are stolen and all the wrong people show up. Worse, Heidi Yamada, the world-famous poet, is found dead, spread over the late Elvis Presley's king-sized bed. It's all caught on film by a busy photographer from Publishers Weekly, a woman soon kidnapped. When the Las Vegas Police shrug their shoulders, Guy Mallon, Heidi's first publisher (and a discarded lover) wonders what to do.
Poor Guy. He's a bookman from Santa Barbara who, despite Ross Macdonald and Sue Grafton, never felt inspired to be a sleuth, but he feels he owes it to Heidi. Besides, catching her killer may be his only chance to leave Las Vegas alive....
The Poet's Funeral is a romp rich with poetry, publishing, book collecting, and literary gossip. Its cast ranges from smalltime players to the famous Rock Bottom Remaiders. It's a story of ego, love, art, and murder during four hot days at the 1990 ABA.