Murder is hard to understand. Murder that took place 150 years ago is even harder to understand.
Stokely Towles was a successful business man in the twenty-first century who owned several businesses that were growing steadily. He was single and nice-looking without a great amount of time to date until he tripped while jogging around his ocean side neighborhood in Southern California. Stoke broke a leg and his fast-moving world slowed dramatically while he healed.
His neighbor’s little Chinese daughter, Marilee, was only nine years old when she came to Stoke’s rescue, helping him during his difficult days of getting back on his feet. While recovering from surgery, Stoke found an old book to read, a family history, and got curious about the death of an ancestor. His research took him into a small town in Missouri where he met a pretty DEA agent. Their paths began to cross more and more often as she went about her agency work and he went about his family history research. Soon they were deeply attracted to each other.
Stoke found that his ancestor was murdered at noon on a Friday out in public on a busy street in 1856. Was it a murder of revenge or a public warning by pro-slavery people? He dug into the details and found all kinds of things about the killing and the foundations of the Civil War.
And all the time Marilee wormed herself farther into Stoke’s life.
One does not go to a small town and research a topic without raising speculations by the populace and sometimes a good bit of suspicion. Stoke raised a good many hackles and almost brought about his own death as he dug into the pasts of the people.
His good-natured attitude and his strong friends saved his life and answered his questions about his ancestor. But he didn’t know what to do with the two important women in his life—Marilee and the DEA agent, who often teamed against him.