In Death Fires Danced at Night, Detective Joshua Simmonds must find the murderer of a newlywed beauty who resides in an upscale Philadelphia suburb, a far cry from the daily monotony of the auto-theft division he has left behind in the city. Simmonds' intuition tells him that the murder of Carla Barr is a family affair. When police officer Denise Tambussi hears Michael Barr say that he had doubts about his marriage only months after he and Carla were wed, she is quick to point out that the prime suspect is usually the "nearest and dearest." Besides Michael Barr, Simmonds focuses on other family members. There is his ex-wife Ann, unceremoniously dumped by Michael after many years of marriage. Their teenage son, Adam, makes no attempt to conceal his hatred of his new stepmother and the bitterness he feels over his parent's divorce. Barr's sister Nancy and her husband Robert are battling a precarious financial situation that Simmonds knows could turn either of them into murderers. Even Michael's beleaguered childhood friend Thomas Adkins comes under Simmonds' intense scrutiny. As the psyches and secrets of a wealthy family are exposed, Simmonds discovers that, in the end, nothing is gained but regret.