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.
About the Author
Born and raised in central North Carolina, Margaret Maron lived in Italy before returning to the USA where she and her husband now live. In addition to a collection of short stories she's also the author of 16 mystery novels. Her works have been translated into seven languages her Bootlegger's Daughter, a Washington Post Bestseller won Edgar Anthony, Agatha, and Macavity awards. She is a past president of Sisters in Crime and of the American Crime writers' league, and a director on the national board for Mystery Writers of America.
I am a huge Margaret Maron fan. The Deborah Knott series set in rural North Carolina has kept me entranced for years. The 19th book in the series, Designated Daughters, is set to be released in August. Have you tried this series yet? If not, it is time you did.
Designated Daughters takes the reader back to what makes this series great. The focus is on Deborah Knott's vast family. When you are reading this book, you know you are in North Carolina. The visuals are authentic as are the speech patterns. That Deborah's father's past is steeped in moonshine adds to the charm.
The minds of our seniors is a huge concern today. Many of our elderly are suffering from forms of dementia such as Alzheimer's. An elderly relative with dementia has been consuming quite a bit of my time and prayers of late so very relevant for me. Secrets often stay buried in the past but will they stay secret as people age. Who know what they say next....
Someone in Deborah's world is very concerned with what Aunt Rachel has to say. What did Rachel say that prompted someone to smother her when she is terminally ill and only moments from death. As Deborah and the police interpret Rachel's ramblings many secrets start to emerge.
Secrets...are they ever really buried forever? Be sure to pick up this latest book in the Deborah Knott series by Margaret Maron. Great read!