Retired English professor Charles Bentley is pressured into becoming assistant director of the Opal College fall theater production. Everything is going well until the person playing the lead in the play entitled The Rake’s Last Gasp is murdered outside the theater. This leaves Charles with two problems. He must help his wife, who is Opalsville’s chief of police, solve the case, and he must act because the director insists that he take over the role of the rake in the play. Not having performed on stage since his college days, Charles is reluctant to take the part, but he soon becomes somewhat excited at the prospect. But as he delves deeper into the murder case, he begins to fear that he may quickly become the second rake to gasp his last.