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Relinquishing, for the moment, her dreary series featuring NYPD cop Sigrid Harald, Maron introduces country lawyer Deborah Knott, of Colleton County, North Carolina, whose daddy is a retired bootlegger and whose other relatives are so numerous that she'd be a shoo-in for judge if they all voted for her in the upcoming primary. Meanwhile, Deborah, who used to baby-sit Gayle Whitehead--and envied her pretty mom and had a crush on her hunky dad--agrees to Gayle's fervid request: find out who shot and killed her mom 18 years ago. The trail wends past a local pottery run by a gay couple; the costume rack at the little theater playhouse; and the home of her ex-sister-in-law. Then two more die; Deborah and her primary opponent are smeared in a poison-pen campaign; marijuana greenhouses are shut down; and Deborah speeds after the murderer.... A keen view of families, southern-discomfort style, with an edge and a wryness that surpass anything Edgar-winner Julie Smith ever dreamed up. Deb, her wily old dad, Detective Dwight are all nicely rendered, and the homosexuals here are, praise be, used well rather than exploited. A fine start to a promising new series.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1992
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Mysterious Press--dist. by Warner