Bernie is about a Texas mortician named Bernie Tiede. Bernie is beloved in the small town of Carthage, as his outgoing personality and friendly nature makes him one of the top leaders in the community. Bernie has only recently moved to Carthage but has already made a good impression on the residents. Part of Bernie's appeal is his willingness to spend time with the older women of the community. Bernie has been known to give gifts to widows and to stop in from time to time to check on them. Majorie Nugent is one the wealthiest people in Carthage but also one of the most despised. When she loses her husband, Bernie realizes that no one else in the town is going to comfort her, so he takes it upon himself to spend time with Majorie. At first, Majorie is skeptical and belligerent to Bernie, as she is with the other townspeople. Eventually, she opens up to Bernie, and the two start to share a bond. Because Majorie is so disliked in the community, many people start to question Bernie's motives. Bernie is known to spend lots of money, and he is starting to take extravagant trips that Majorie was paying for. As the two spend more time together, Majorie becomes increasingly possessive, which hampers Bernie's lifestyle significantly. Majorie continues to berate Bernie to a breaking point. During a particularly heated argument, Bernie commits an act that changes his life forever, shooting Majorie in the back as she walks to her car. Bernie is totally distraught by his actions but decides to make the best of the situation. Unfortunately, a few people around Carthage start to ask questions, eventually putting Bernie on the hot seat. Bernie takes a close look at how people can be lured in by strong personalities. Bernie's popularity in the town of Carthage is so strong that the townspeople can almost overlook the fact that he committed a heinous crime against another human being.