After years of bachelorhood, true love and a two-year-old have Chicago freelance writer Emerson Ward thinking twice about tilting at windmills. He even turns down his best friend Brandt’s pleas to look into the murder of a banker they both knew. But when Emerson’s girlfriend Nell leaves with their daughter to care for her ailing mother, he sees no reason not to help a childhood friend look into her brother’s suicide. It means going back to the small town where he grew up and swore he’d never return, and asking questions that can’t be answered. Reluctantly, Emerson confronts old demons, family, friends and foes he hasn’t seen for 25 years, and soon he’s up to his eyeballs in a high-stakes commercial real estate scam and a decades-old family secret that threaten everything he holds dear. The deeper he digs, the less he likes what he learns, about his old hometown, the people in it, and even himself. When he links the dead banker to the real estate scam and a group of fundamentalist Muslim businessmen raising funds for terrorists, the FBI steps in to let him know he stands to lose even more—his life. The sixth in this fast-paced, entertaining series, Death On A Budget brings its quixotic hero full circle, providing readers with the family back story of how he became the man and sleuth he is.

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