A millionaire sets up a bomb in his boat to fake his death. Barnaby is contacted by the girlfriend of his boat "captain" to investigate what happened. Small clues like hand-tied flies, a cat boarded at a vet's, and an apple slicer bring Barnaby to a confrontation with a killer.
A black funeral wreath on his office door predicts Barnaby's death on Sunday. Even after he figures out who the psycho ex-convict is with a vendetta against him, Barnaby is stymied until his daughter-in-law is held hostage. It's a race against time to save her and himself.
Pressure to get good grades at a private high school leads to the death of an instructor. The conspirators try to place the blame first on the victim's drinking and then on the black tennis coach. Barnaby is called in by the victim's sister to sort out the lies.
After a blow kills his lover's husband, the quick-thinking killer calls police and, pretending to be the victim, lays the blame on two hippies. Barnaby realizes there's something wrong with the story and works to find the facts.
What's the perfect heroin-smuggling plot? Hide it in the radiator of a car owned by a tourist above suspicion--Barnaby Jones. When the shipment is replaced by sugar, Barnaby finds himself being threatened by both shipper and receiver, desperately trying to find the truth.
An author whose novels feature his hometown disappears; the publisher hires Barnaby to find the last chapter of the newest novel. A senile aunt introduces Barnaby to the "family" in her dollhouse, providing the clue to more than one murder.