A Halloween treat turns deadly for a rural Georgia family.
In Murder in Her Stocking (2018), McKevett presented the origin story of her franchise detective, Savannah Reid, chronicling her childhood in Georgia under the watchful eye of her granny Stella Reid. Now the author pushes back even further into Stella's past to the time when Savannah finds a corpse near the corn maze Judge Patterson has arranged as a treasured part of the annual holiday festivities. In spite of its advanced stage of decomposition, Stella recognizes the body as that of Becky Dingle, her best friend Elsie Dingle’s mother. Finding who killed Becky forces Stella to confront the death of her own mother, part-Cherokee Gola Quinn, who picked cotton alongside Becky long after Emancipation and who suffered the same abuse as other poor women of her time, often at the hands of those closest to them. Stella’s search also allows her to develop a special bond with Savannah, clearly the brightest of the unruly Reid brood, as the 12-year-old begins her journey to becoming a true detective. Without losing her sense of humor, McKevett tackles serious issues of women living in poverty. Its focus on history may keep McKevett’s second Stella Reid entry from fully developing as a puzzle, but it offers welcome insight into the woman Stella is and the woman Savannah is destined to become.
Sure to please McKevett loyalists and other fans of plucky women.