Attorney Avery Andrews travels from her rural South Carolina hometown of Dacus to Charleston to assist a plaintiff's attorney in a product-liability case. After a forklift operator killed some coworkers and then himself, relatives of the victims decided to sue the manufacturer of his antidepressant medication. Avery wants to unearth information about the drug that would link it to the shooter's actions.

Mystery arises when a physician friend who wants to meet with Avery ends up the victim of a car accident, and Avery becomes embroiled in another investigation. It seems that something is fishy with local physicians who have patients involved in drug-testing trials, and Avery must discover what it is before she becomes the next victim.

Swiftly moving and gently mysterious, Pickens' sophomore effort combines suspense with detailed but easily understood descriptions of a civil lawsuit. With its chilling history and Southern charm, Charleston is the perfect location for this cozy mystery. (Nov., 304 pp., $23.95)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick