Maron is still going strong with the 19th installment in her Deborah Knott series. Designated Daughters is a solid mystery where Southern charm meets murder. Maron delves into some social issues of today, and readers can expect a small-town family atmosphere with a lot of heart.
Judge Deborah Knott’s beloved Aunt Rachel is expected to pass away at any moment — but she wakes up surrounded by family and friends and begins to reminisce as if she were a young woman again. The Knott family’s happiness at Rachel’s great improvement is short lived when she is smothered with a pillow shortly thereafter. As Deborah and her husband, Sheriff’s Deputy Dwight Bryant, look into what happened, their path continues to cross with a list of unlikely suspects. The pair soon realizes that the motive for murder was a secret told during Aunt Rachel’s mixed-up ramblings before her death — a secret worth killing for. (GRAND CENTRAL, Aug., 320 pp., $27.00)