Ex-FBI agent and antiques picker Jeff Talbot asks Lanny, a fellow picker, to scout out some antique majolica as a present for his wife—with no idea just how costly it will be. Lanny is a bit of a loner, but Jeff has always liked him. So it comes as a total shock when the young man is arrested for murdering an antiques dealer.
Jeff learns that Lanny quarreled with the dealer after she sold two pieces of majolica she was supposed to hold for him—uncharacteristic of the kind, caring, and trustworthy man that Jeff knows. As Jeff investigates Lanny's claims of innocence, he learns the majolica has a long history—one that somebody is determined to keep quiet.