Judge Deborah Knott and Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant are back home in Colleton County with all their family and courthouse regulars. But there are a few new faces as well. Lt. Sigrid Herald and her mother, Anne, a well-known photographer, are down from New York to visit Anne's ailing mother, Mrs. Lattimore. When the group gathers for dinner at Mrs. Lattimore's Victorian home, they meet the enigmatic Martin Crawford, an ornithologist who claims to be researching a new book on Southern vultures. More importantly, he's Mrs. Lattimore's long-lost nephew, and Sigrid and Anne's English cousin. With her health in decline, Mrs. Lattimore wants to make amends with her family--something Deborah can understand as she too is working to strengthen her relationship with her stepson, Cal. But for all his mysterious charm, Anne can't shake the feeling that there is something familiar about Martin...something he doesn't want Anne or anyone else to discover. When a murderer strikes, Deborah, Dwight, and Sigrid will once again work together to solve the crime and uncover long-buried Lattimore family secrets.
In Maron's intriguing 18th Deborah Knott mystery, the North Carolina judge teams with the author's other series lead, NYPD homicide detective Sigrid Harald, as she did in 2011's Agatha-winning Three-Day Town. When Sigrid and her mother, photojournalist Anne Lattimore Harald, travel to Cotton Grove, N.C., to visit Sigrid's ailing grandmother, Deborah enlists Anne to help a young photographer, Jeremy Harper, who has been sentenced for trespassing after he attempted to photograph CIA "rendition flights" from the Colleton County airstrip. Meanwhile, the disappearance of promiscuous realtor Rebecca Jowett, the strange activities of British ornithologist Martin Crawford (who's studying turkey vultures), and the murder of a pilot staying at a local hotel provide plenty of investigative grist for Deborah's police officer husband, Dwight Bryant, as well as for Sigrid. Maron successfully combines a look at family foibles and relationships with a series of moral choices that challenge the characters' sense of law and justice. Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Grand Central Publishing
November 20, 2012
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