In Asheville, North Carolina, the Blackman & Robertson Detective Agency faces a disturbing reality: no clients. Sam Blackman finds inactivity intolerable, so when partner Nakayla Robertson suggests a mushroom hunt on the site of a historic freed-slave commune called the Kingdom of the Happy Land, Sam reluctantly agrees. When he stumbles across a skeleton, his adventure mushrooms into a case of murder. But it isn't his case--he has no client--and the local authorities tell him to butt out. Then Marsha Montgomery comes to the office asking Sam and Nakayla to investigate a burglary at her mother's home. In 1967 someone stole a rifle and a photograph of Marsha's mother, grandmother, and great grandmother taken in 1932 by renowned photographer Doris Ulmann. Marsha's visit is no coincidence: the photograph was taken at the Kingdom of the Happy Land. Sam's being played, but why?