When Judge Deborah Knott is summoned to her ailing Aunt Rachel's bedside, she assumes the worst. Thankfully when she arrives at the hospice center she learns that Rachel hasn't passed; in fact, the dying woman is awake. Surrounded by her children, her extended family, and what seems like half of Colleton County, a semi-conscious Rachel breaks weeks of pained silence with snippets of stories as randomly pieced together as a well-worn patchwork quilt. But the Knott family's joy quickly gives way to shock: Less than an hour later, Aunt Rachel is found dead in her bed, smothered with a pillow.
Who would kill a woman on her deathbed? Was it an act of mercy, or murder? As Deborah and her husband, Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant, investigate they cross paths with an unlikely set of suspects: Rachel's longtime minister; her neighbor, the respected local doctor; the friendly single father who often sought her advice; and perhaps the most puzzling party of all, the Designated Daughters, a support group for caregivers that Rachel's own daughter belongs to.
Soon Deborah and Dwight realize that the key to solving this case is hidden in Rachel's mysterious final words. Her mixed-up memories harbored a dark secret - a secret that someone close to them is determined to bury forever.
In MWA Grand Master Maron's outstanding 19th mystery featuring judge Deborah Knott of North Carolina's Colleton County (after 2012's The Buzzard Table), Deborah's elderly aunt, Rachel Morton, lies near death in a hospice. Rachel attracts a crowd of friends and relatives as she talks of "babies, fires, and unpaid debts, of someone who beat his wife and of cowbirds and vegetables and broken jars." A distraction allows a killer enough time to slip into Rachel's room and smother her with a pillow, thus ending her ramblings, which apparently concealed deadly secrets. Unraveling those secrets - some 60 years old - is a slow, difficult process with lots of suspects among friends and family. Maron achieves a delicate balance as she explores differences between mistakes, sins, and crimes, and shows that justice is not always arrived at by conventional means. Humor (e.g., Deborah outfoxes an unscrupulous auctioneer) and social issues (e.g., the difficult role of caregivers to the elderly) add to the warmth of a large family with all its foibles, squabbles, and quirks. (Publishers Weekly)
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Bring back narrator CJ Critt to re-narrate!!!
I have listened to all of the Deborah Knott series. Love the stories with narrator CJ Critt. CJ makes the characters come to life. We know all the characters by CJ's voice interpretation .
Yes, as long as CJ narrates.
Nothing at all. Flat and unbelievable could not listen to whole story. Margaret Maron writes a heck of a suspense novel. However, she is not a narrator - she just reads story; where as CJ Critt "performs" the story with different intonations for each character. I'm very disappointed with this lack luster performance.
Can't get beyond the awful narration, it's clouding my judgement. I'm extremely disappointed.
Please, bring CJ Critt back. CJ is the true voice of Judge Deborah Knott. Margaret Maron please continue the series. Just stay in your " lane" as a great writer and allow the well trained performers (CJ) to continue on the path of flawless narration. "If it ain't broke don't fix it"!!!
Bewildered by change of narrators ...............
Go back to original narrator.
Too put off by narrator to have a favorite.
I identified with the characters in the other narrators voice. I felt sort of lost listening to this narrator ,I never felt like I was drawn into the story I was too busy trying to figure out who was who in the story.
The story was good and the narrator's voice wasn't a bad voice , but I have come to identify the other narrator with Debra Knot .
- Janet "metoopaso"