As Kyle Malachi prepares for impending fatherhood, his growing alienation toward his better known alter ego (the pseudonymous and nationally syndicated mystery critic Stokes Moran) leads him to a rash act - he decides to kill off his fictitious rival. Despite vehement protests from his wife Lee Holland, Kyle places a simple announcement of Stokes Moran's death in The New York Times, bringing to an end a ten-year association with his more famous identity. Or so he thinks. Two days later, Lee (as Stokes Moran's literary agent) gets a call from the Manhattan police asking if she would officially identify Stokes Moran's remains. When it becomes obvious that this is not somebody's idea of a grim practical joke, both Lee and Kyle are stunned! How is it possible for a man who never existed to leave behind a flesh-and-bone corpus delicti? As Kyle struggles to explain to the admittedly skeptical authorities his convoluted relationship with the late Stokes Moran, and what led him to orchestrate Moran's public demise,,Kyle quickly realizes that he is not only the police's prime suspect in this real-life murder investigation - he is their only suspect. Furthermore, Kyle knows that if he wants to stay out of prison for a crime he didn't commit, he must solve the case himself. And fast! But first, Kyle must put a name on the corpse - a name other than Stokes Moran. Any other name.