In Shooting Star, ninety-two-year-old poet Victoria Trumbull becomes embroiled in controversy at the community theater on Martha's Vineyard. The new artistic director has announced plans to replace local amateur talent with off-Island professionals, and the cast and crew react murderously.
Victoria intended the theater's current production, her adaptation of Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, to debunk the common farcical movie-monster interpretation by returning to Shelley's original serious commentary on the Industrial Revolution. However, after the night of the dress rehearsal, Victoria loses control over the production, and her drama begins to take a strange course.
On that night, the eight-year-old boy playing the part of Frankenstein's young brother disappears, and before a search can begin, a killer strikes. The Vineyard's police forces mobilize for an Island-wide search. In the original story of Frankenstein, the boy is the first victim of the monster, and Victoria fears that a copycat killer is following her playscript. She determines to find the missing boy and track down the killer before more deaths occur.
Along with familiar Island characters from her previous books, the author introduces a cast of new and often eccentric players.