When Gianna Petrillo came home from college with a teaching credential in hand, there were plenty of ghosts to greet her in that Central California oil town -- both old and new. Her old flame, who was the son of an oil baron, had married ... but he certainly hadn't settled down. In fact, something had gone terribly wrong for Harvard Knottingham. He was even threatening to blow up his family's oil wells. Esther Grim, a peculiar electrical engineer, moved into town about the same time. She got a heck of a deal on Miss Toadvine's pink cottage. So what if the previous owner had been murdered there? Oh, it mattered. That house seemed to wear an aura of misfortune like a funeral hat. If that wasn't bad enough, Miss Toadvine's murderer was still on the lam. Some folks swore they'd seen Bucky Dobbs around town, but perhaps that was just a fabrication. There was a rumor that he'd run off to Texas. Gianna did her best to keep a level head by keeping busy with her new job. And a bit of good fortune came her way. Her old friend Sylvia offered her an Appaloosa mare to trail ride in the foothills that surrounded their town. Sergeant Rodney Gullett warned Gianna about riding alone on the outskirts of town, especially after dark. Interesting, since it had always been safe in the past. Did Sergeant Gullett know something? Or did he have something to hide? In the true spirit of the cozy mystery genre, The Burning Bowl contains no gore, foul language, or overt sex.