A gardener digs up an old skeleton in the “back forty” of Shandley Gardens, a public garden in the Sonoran Desert. Volunteer coordinator Bea Rivers discovers that the victim, a man who disappeared in 1969, may be connected to a small town in New Mexico, where he'd made quite a few enemies among amateur archaeologists. There may be some connection with illegal artifacts... and with Shandley Gardens' founders. As Bea is drawn into the investigation, she meets an ever-increasing cast of quirky suspects. What began as an intriguing puzzle becomes considerably more threatening, while Bea negotiates single parenthood, a long-distance relationship, and huge new job responsibilities. She needs to untangle what is happening, for Shandley Gardens and for the safety of her own family.