A mystery set in the Florida Keys, Sleeping Dogs Lie is the first installment of the story of lottery-winner turned private detective, Dan Coast.
Dan, a wise-cracking excessive drinker, is haunted by the memory of his dead wife. Shortly after the two won the lottery and purchased a small beach bungalow in the Florida Keys, her life was taken in a car accident. Soon after his wife's death, Dan relocated to the Keys with his wife's dog, whom he blames for her death.
In Sleeping Dogs Lie, Dan Coast, an unlicensed private detective of sorts, is hired to find the missing boyfriend of a woman who herself soon ends up missing. When someone from the woman's past unexpectedly shows up at Dan's home with a story of faked deaths and missing life insurance money, Dan, along with his sidekick Red, set out to find the money, and the woman.