Last Lessons of Summer

Last Lessons of Summer

4.8 5
by Margaret Maron
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Called "one of the most seamless Southern writers since Margaret Mitchell" by Publishers Weekly, Margaret Maron has won multiple awards and has received immense acclaim for her hugely popular Deborah Knott series. Now Maron introduces us to a new heroine who returns to her North Carolina roots to unearth the darkest secrets of her past. (This book was originally

Overview

Called "one of the most seamless Southern writers since Margaret Mitchell" by Publishers Weekly, Margaret Maron has won multiple awards and has received immense acclaim for her hugely popular Deborah Knott series. Now Maron introduces us to a new heroine who returns to her North Carolina roots to unearth the darkest secrets of her past. (This book was originally published in hardback by Mysterious Press in 2003.)

In the suffocating heat of a Southern August, Amy Steadman, heir to a merchandising and publishing empire, has come to lean out the house of her murdered grandmother--and perhaps find some answers. Beneath her quiet, accommodating manner, a storm is brewing.

For here in this gracious home, Amy's own mother had committed suicide when her daughter was barely three years old. The tragedy put an end to her mother's turbulent marriage to Amy's father. But the secrets surrounding her mother's death live on. Sorting through her grandmother's things, Amy reflects on the parallels between her parents' relationship and the growing suspicions she has about her own husband, who may love her legacy more than he loves her.

As she rediscovers the tobacco-rich land where she spent her childhood summers, Amy meets relatives she never knew, and feels an unexpected emotional connection with the burly, knowing state investigator looking into her grandmother's murder. Suddenly, she begins to connect the dots between her troubled life and the heritage that shaped her. Yet the more she learns, the closer she comes to a murderous force who may be in her own family--one who will not hesitate to lie, deceive, or kill . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940150119673
Publisher:
Maron & Company
Publication date:
01/08/2015
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
74,287
File size:
354 KB

Meet the Author

Born and bred in North Carolina where the piedmont meets the sandhills, I grew up on a modest two-mule tobacco farm that has been in the family for over a hundred years. Tobacco is no longer grown on the farm, but the memories linger—the singing, the laughter, the gossip that went on at the bench as those rank green leaves came from the field, the bliss of an icy cold drink bottle pressed to a hot sweaty face, getting up at dawn to help “take out” a barn, the sweet smell of soft golden leaves as they’re being readied for auction. Working in tobacco is one of those life experiences I’m glad to have had. I’m even gladder that it’s something I’ll never have to do again.

After high school came two years of college before a summer job at the Pentagon led to marriage, a tour of duty in Italy, then several years in my husband’s native Brooklyn. I had always loved writing and for the first few years, wrote nothing but short stories and very bad poetry. (The legendary Ruth Cavin of St. Martin’s Press once said of the silly verses I write to celebrate various friends “It's doggerel, Margaret. But inspired doggerel.” I was immensely flattered.)

Eventually, I backed into writing novels about NYPD Lt. Sigrid Harald, mysteries set against the New York City art world. Living there let me see how the city is a collection of villages, each with its own vitality and distinct ambiance, vibrant and ever-changing. But once I had settled back into North Carolina, love of my native state and a desire to write out of current experiences led to the creation of District Court Judge Deborah Knott, the opinionated daughter of a crusty old ex-bootlegger and youngest sibling of eleven older brothers. (I was one of only three, so no, I’m not writing about my own family.)

We’ve been back on a corner of the family land for many years now. My city-born husband discovered he prefers goldfinches, rabbits, and the occasional quiet deer to yellow cabs, concrete, and a city that never sleeps. A son, a daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters are icing on our cake.

Why mysteries? Quite honestly, when I first chose this genre, it was because I thought I had nothing to say and the classic mystery novel had a form that would let me write without any burden of trying to be profound. All I had to do was entertain. But once I began writing about North Carolina, I realized that there was nothing I couldn’t say in this most flexible form.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Last Lessons of Summer 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
cate-k More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of margaret Maron, I enjoy her stories, the way in which she so easily draws my interest, and I find her characters interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
A fantastic story well-written and concieved. The book on tape was read wonderfully and the story drew me in. It is a fanatstic tale
harstan More than 1 year ago
Manhattan based Pink and Blue and Max Enterprises executive Amy Steadman returns to her North Carolina home following the murder of her grandmother, Frances Barbour. Amy inherits a fortune with the death of her maternal relative. She and her half-sister Beth clean out Frances's summer home, a place where her mother committed suicide when Amy was three.

Amy struggles with her two immediate female ancestors dying violent deaths. She needs to know who killed her granny and what circumstances led her mother to kill herself. She begins asking questions of her gentle visiting kin (use the family tree page to keep track). Soon one of these kind relatives poisons a cousin and tries to do likewise to Amy. Who amongst her amiable family is a murderer?

LAST LESSONS OF SUMMER is a tremendous regional who done it that will provide much pleasure to sub-genre fans. The story line is brilliantly executed providing readers with a host of suspects, plenty of red herrings (and preserves) and a powerful climax. The dialect takes some getting used to for those not from the Piedmont, but worth the time as Margaret Maron writes a powerhouse of a tale that will provide the author with numerous award nominations.

Harriet Klausner