In 1970 a fashionably cynical and somewhat naive young Frank Hayes takes a job at City Hall in racially tense Macon, Georgia. Mr. John Glover, an eighty-nine year old illiterate black man, the son of a former slave, asks for Frank’s assistance in understanding a city condemnation order against Mr. Glover’s home. Frank’s efforts place him at odds with local business and political interests and in the arms of Shirley Willingham, wife of Stafford Willingham, one of Macon’s wealthiest real estate developers. But it is Johnny Mae Glover, the green-eyed granddaughter of the old gentleman he is trying to help, who Frank falls in love with.

Frank is taken under the wing of a grizzled fifty-five year old black ex-convict named Tiny who confides to Frank that he was the husband and convicted murderer of Johnny Mae’s mother. Johnny Mae doesn’t know that black sheep “Uncle” Tiny is her father and the elder Mr. Glover hasn’t spoken to Tiny in twenty-five years, even though they live just across the street from one another. Tiny believes Frank to be an angel sent to put his and Johnny Mae’s worlds right again. But before that can happen Frank, Tiny, and Johnny Mae are arrested and jailed for the murder of millionaire Stafford Willingham.

With no money, no influence, few friends, and little time, Frank digs himself deeper into trouble. Armed with only a smart alec sense of humor and quick brain when he uses it, Frank has to figure out who he can trust and what is going on before he is dead too.