At the start of Maron's first-rate 11th Deborah Knott mystery (after 2004's High Country Fall), the judge and her fianc , sheriff deputy Dwight Bryant, are distracted from their impending nuptials by a fatal car crash involving assistant D.A. Tracy Johnson. When it turns out that someone shot Johnson as she was driving, Deborah and Dwight become involved in a murder investigation that will uncover a web of crime and corruption in Colleton County, N.C. Meanwhile, members of Deborah's large, extended family, among other warm Southern characters, hurry to complete the renovations on Deborah's old farmhouse and to prepare, celebrate and sometimes complicate the upcoming wedding. When two young students approach Deborah about a death-row prisoner who they think is innocent, she can't resist helping. In contrast to the image of the ideal woman described in the quotes from the Victorian etiquette book that head each chapter, the realistic, contemporary Deborah, an expert at multitasking, handles all challenges with wit, intelligence and sensitivity. Agent, Vicky Bijur. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Unfortunately for poor Judge Deborah Knott, her wedding day worries include murder. Multiple mystery awardwinner Maron lives in Raleigh, NC. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
To-do list: Find the killer, stop the execution, get married. Judge Deborah Knott (High Country Fall, 2004, etc.), who dated Mr. Wrongs for years while her daddy, 11 brothers and numerous sisters-in-law were convinced she'd never settle down, has opened her heart to Deputy Sheriff Dwight Bryant. Their big day is only a week or two off when the murder of ADA Tracy Johnson sends their plans off-kilter. Although Deborah and Dwight have a pact never to discuss cases that might come before her on the bench, Deborah can't say no to two college kids who beseech her to look into the Martha Hurst case. They believe that Hurst, due to be executed in a month for the murder of her son-in-law and ex-lover, is innocent. If DA Doug Woodall is correct in saying that his case was airtight, why was Tracy asking to see the old case files before she died? While Deborah and the college kids wrestle with long-ago witnesses, Dwight worries about the surprises in Tracy's autopsy and his suddenly missing deputy Don Whitley. There'll be another death, hints of an irregular pregnancy or two and more police corruption in Colleton County before the DA redresses a wrong, Tracy is avenged and Deborah and Dwight celebrate their nuptials. Despite the carnage, there's such bonhomie and sexual warmth that readers may well consider moving to North Carolina to be closer to the Knott family.