The Bone chronicles continue as Phoney Bone tries to fix a cow race, the great red dragon visits Thorn in her dreams, and the rat creatures have another go at baking Fone Bone in a quiche. The Bone cousins (Fone Bone, Smiley Bone and Phoney Bone) are reunited in the town of Barrelhaven, where Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone have been pressed into service at the local tavern to pay off their bar tabs.
Trouble starts when Phoney Bone decides to fix Barrelhaven’s annual cow race. He opens a betting booth and starts spreading scurrilous rumors about the health of last year’s winner, Grandma Ben (who is not a cow); the idea is to get everyone in Barrelhaven to bet on the Mystery Cow (none other than Smiley Bone in a handsome handmade cow suit), who will then let Grandma Ben win and thereby make Phoney Bone a fortune. Unfortunately, Phoney Bone does not succeed in fixing the race, which is literally a riot, but he succeeds very well in getting himself and his cousins run out of town (again).
Other things happen: Thorn, Grandma Ben’s granddaughter, starts having dreams about a little girl in a cave full of dragons; hundreds of rat creatures gather in the woods just outside Barrelhaven; and Fone Bone, who has a crush on Thorn, writes lots and lots of bad love poetry. Highly recommended.