This collection contains seven works of fiction ranging in length from short story to novella. The stories take place in rural California from 1964 to 1970, and they continue the mystery/noir style in which John D. Nesbitt has gained recognition. The world of these stories is born out of a vision of hard-edged realism, in which decent characters struggle with the circumstances of a hard-working life as well as with amoral drifters, opportunists, and criminals. The romance is spare, and the sex is not always pristine. But the main characters persist and survive. John D. Nesbitt’s work is consistently praised for its achievement in character, setting, prose style, and story line subtlety. This collection includes the short story “At the End of the Orchard,” which won the Western Writers of America Spur Award for best short fiction in 2010.