Amy Steadman is an executive of a family owned merchandising and publishing company, and has inherited her murdered grandmother's shares of the company which give her the controlling interest. She shows no interest in running the company, her concerns are with the unsolved murder of her grandmother, the suicide of her mother when Amy was three years old, her father's infidelities and the possibility that now her husband is straying also.
The property her grandmother lived on before her murder is also owned by two other family members of Amy's grandfather, and the money for its sale is more important to them. Her grandmother had been holding out, and Amy has decided to sell. She journeys south to NC to sign final papers and clean out the house. Here the details surrounding the murder of her grandmother lead to more disturbing questions about the validity of her mother having actually taken her own life. When certain facts about her grandmother's murder is revealed to a cousin, who is then murdered, Amy finds out that she may be next on the murderer's list.
This report prepared by Patg
Mysterious, Sep 2003, 23.95, 320 pp.
Manhattan based Pink and Blue and Max Enterprises executive Amy Steadman returns to her North Carolina home following the murder of her grandmother, Frances Barbour. Amy inherits a fortune with the death of her maternal relative. She and her half-sister Beth clean out Frances's summer home, a place where her mother committed suicide when Amy was three.
Amy struggles with her two immediate female ancestors dying violent deaths. She needs to know who killed her granny and what circumstances led her mother to kill herself. She begins asking questions of her gentle visiting kin (use the family tree page to keep track). Soon one of these kind relatives poisons a cousin and tries to do likewise to Amy. Who amongst her amiable family is a murderer?
LAST LESSONS OF SUMMER is a tremendous regional who done it that will provide much pleasure to sub-genre fans. The story line is brilliantly executed providing readers with a host of suspects, plenty of red herrings (and preserves) and a powerful climax. The dialect takes some getting used to for those not from the Piedmont, but worth the time as Margaret Maron writes a powerhouse of a tale that will provide the author with numerous award nominations.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner