Marin County is famous for its affluent pleasures and the beauty of its beaches, mountains and redwood forests. In Time and Trouble, a teen-aged runaway, a yellow hearse, an insurance scam, a heart-shaped talisman, a baby's skeleton in a meadow, and something ugly and odd going on in a Sausalito houseboat all converge there to provide the first-and nearly last-case for Billie August, the new hire of seasoned P.I. Emma Howe. Billie, a single parent with no practical job skills, desperately needs the job, and Emma, whose personality has caused most of her employees to head for the hills, hires the sure-to-fail inexperienced young woman out of her own desperation. An unlikely, antagonistic pair, both find out that things are seldom as they seem, and appearances-in and out of crime and investigation-can be dangerously deceiving.