Lane's fourth series entry is a mystery to savor. The precise details and many mysteries are all skillfully drawn together at
the end, and the main characters are clearly developed, complicated people who have lives outside the mystery. Elizabeth Goodweather is a perfect protagonist who shows that there can be intelligence and romance after 50.

Elizabeth has lived on a small North Carolina farm for years but is still a newcomer as far as the natives are concerned. When a woman she admires tries to kill herself, Elizabeth is drawn into a generations-old mystery.

Nola was writing a book about the area when she jumped from the upper story of an old house she grew up in. What caused her to change so quickly from a vital, well-educated woman into the silent shell Elizabeth visits in a nursing home? Is there any connection between a missing man, the property developers want to buy and the many people with secrets? Phillip Hawkins, Elizabeth's lover and a former deputy, helps with the investigation. Complications in their relationship and Elizabeth's grown family round out the story. (DELL, Jun., 448 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Page Traynor