Bruised and sore from the previous night's activities, Private Detective Archie Archibald is finally convinced that he has had enough of Fort Lauderdale's violent criminal element. The quiet, seaside community of Vero Beach seems like the perfect place to start over. It comes highly recommended by his good friend, Luther Johnson, and Archie is hoping the many affluent oceanfront communities will provide access to a much more refined type of clientele.
Just weeks after his arrival, the area's wealthiest woman, 84-year-old Clara Silverman, mysteriously vanishes from her gated estate, and Archie is asked to take on the case. Sixteen hundred miles away, in Michigan's remote Upper Peninsula, John Barrington gets a mysterious call asking him about an aunt he thought had passed away years before.
As Archie digs deeper into Mrs. Silverman's disappearance, he discovers that the laid-back beach town he has escaped to holds plenty of secrets of its own. It doesn't take long before both Archie and John are caught up in a dangerous web of deceit, kidnapping, and murder. As the body count mounts, Archie knows he doesn't have much time to solve the Black Orchid mystery before he, and the people closest to him, become the next victims.