It’s a sad duty that brings Alafair Tucker to Enid, Oklahoma, in the fall of 1915. Her sister Ruth Ann’s husband, Lester, is not long for this world, and the family is gathering to send him to his reward. Alafair had planned to make the trip on her own with her youngest daughter Grace – so she is surprised and gratified when her eldest daughter Martha volunteers to come along and care for Grace, freeing Alafair to comfort the soon-to-be-bereaved.
But her niece’s irresponsible husband, Kenneth, has disappeared at a most inconvenient time. When it comes to light that Kenneth has been involved in some shady dealing with Buck Collins – the most ruthless businessman in town – everyone is convinced that Collins has done him in. In fact, no other possibility is considered, not by the family or by the local lawmen. But Alafair suspects that things are not so simple.
Over the next few days, Alafair and Martha come face-to-face with blackmail, intimidation, murder, and family secrets that stretch back over twenty years. And in the process, they discover things about each other that will change their relationship forever.