Maron takes a break from her series mysteries to deliver a complex and touching tale of two mysterious deaths that resonate throughout a troubled family. Amy Steadman has only vague memories of the mother who committed suicide when Amy was still a child, since her family withheld details about the circumstances of her death.

Now, after the murder of her grandmother, Amy has inherited her North Carolina estate. While visiting to arrange for its sale, a search through family mementos uncovers a tumultuous history of secrets that leads to threats against her, and Amy must watch her back as she examines the three years she shared with her mother.

This is no typical mystery, since Amy's purpose isn't to find her grandmother's murderer. She leaves that to the professionals while searching for the reasons for her mother's suicide. Maron's well-written story flows smoothly between past and present. Characters and setting come to life, while unexpected plot turns lead to a stunning conclusion. (Aug., 288 pp., $23.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jo Peters