By the Book
By the Book
Season 10
Number 6
Writer Melissa Scrivner-Love
Director Gina Lamar
Original Airdate October 30, 2011
Previous Episode: Killer Regrets
Next Episode: Sinner Takes All

By the Book is the sixth episode in Season Ten of CSI: Miami.


The team investigates the bizarre death of a housekeeper in the island mansion that belongs to a famed vampire novelist.


Eric and Calleigh head into a mansion that is only reachable by ferry, and they find the housekeeper Andrea Edison hanging, bloodless, inside. There’s a letter written with a made-up language in the desk, and the team discovers that the language was created by the home’s owner, a vampire author named Marilyn Milner. The letter is written in blood, which traces back to Wes Rayburn. Wes says Andrea was already dead when he got there, and he thought the body was a gift from Milner. He bit her neck with his modified “vampire” teeth, but there was no blood to drink.

There are bits of cork in Andrea’s hair from a wine bottle. The chef, Lawrence Kingman, found her body and called it in, and Milner’s editor Joseph Crumbaugh told him not to stay. Crumbaugh says he took his private boat to and from the island. He was sleeping with Andrea, and he knew it would look bad if it got out that Milner’s editor was sleeping with the maid, whose dead body was found on her property.

When the team heads to Crumbaugh’s boat, they find Lawrence and the “gardener” Kenny Barnsdall writing inside. They are ghost writers, and they and Andrea have been writing Marilyn Milner’s novels for the past three years. Milner gives them storylines and general ideas, and they go from there. They pretend to be the gardener, chef and maid if anybody comes to Milner’s mansion to prevent anyone from finding out the novels are ghost written. There’s an email on Andrea’s computer offering some motive: Andrea threatened to expose the ghost writing if Crumbaugh didn’t give her $100,000. He was going to pay her, but he found her dead. He took the manuscript to the printers, and when they retrieve it, they realize the murder in the novel matches Andrea’s death.

The original crime scene is a Rolls Royce Phantom, which Milner bought with the profits from her first book. She told her editor that she was in Milan, but the text she sent traces back to Miami. She doesn’t write or read her own books, and she says she wouldn’t kill the best ghost writer who made her life so easy. The book doesn’t identify the killer, and Milner says the truth is revealed in the epilogue, which is exclusive to the audio version of the book. In the book, the killer drained the victim’s blood and drank it “like wine”, leading the team to the wine collection in the house. They realize Lawrence did it. He says Andrea took credit for his ideas, and he gave her a chance to fix it—she didn’t, so he killed her. He drained her blood and hung her up like the victim in the book, hoping they’d think a crazed fan did it. However, he left eight ounces of blood in her body, and he says the blood was draining too slowly. Hemlock was found on the body, and it can slow the heart. They need to figure out how it was introduced into the bloodstream, and they discover that the poison is found on Andrea’s wrists. A bottle of perfume Milner bought for her in Milan was dosed with hemlock to kill her slowly and cover the author’s tracks.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Christian Clemenson as Tom Loman
  • Christopher Redman as Michael Travers
  • Diane Farr as Marilyn Milner
  • Aria Pullman as Andrea Edison
  • Orlando Jones as Lawrence Kingman
  • Michael Ray Escamilla as Kenny Barnsdall
  • Chad Todhunter as Wes Rayburn
  • Johnathon Schaech as Joseph Crumbaugh

See Also[]

CSI:Miami Season 10
CountermeasuresStiffBlown AwayLook Who's TauntingKiller RegretsBy the BookSinner Takes AllDead Ringer (Miami)A Few Dead MenLong GoneCrownedFriendly FireTerminal VelocityLast StrawNo Good Deed (Miami)Rest In PiecesAt RiskLaw and DisorderHabeas Corpse