"This fascinating mystery, merging past and present, brings some little-known history to light and shows that laws change much faster than attitudes..." —Booklist
Things are slow at the Blackman & Robertson Detective Agency. So when Nakayla Robertson suggests a mushroom hunt at the historic, freed-slave commune The Kingdom of the Happy Land, Sam Blackman reluctantly agrees. Hunting the elusive edible, he stumbles into a rotting log...with a skeleton hidden inside. He's intrigued, but local authorities tell him to butt out.
Then Marsha Montgomery comes to Asheville asking Sam and Nakayla to investigate a 45-year-old burglary at her mother's home. Someone stole a rifle and a photograph taken in 1932 at The Kingdom of the Happy Land. Is this just a coincidence?
Then Marsha's 85-year-old mother Lucille is arrested for murder, and Sam knows something is amiss. Is the skeleton that of Jimmy Lang, Lucille's lover and Martha's father, a white man who disappeared in 1967? A veil of betrayal and deceit hides a killer desperate to protect a dark secret, and not even Sam is safe from the deadly consequences of a murder in passing.