Creatively combining comedy with drama, Andrews' latest is a credit to the Southern woman. Not only is Mary Bliss smart and attractive, but her ability to face adversity is not outmatched by her sense of humor. Kudos to this 21st-century version of "Thelma and Louise."

Married for almost 20 years to Parker, Mary Bliss McGowan is counting her good fortune: a solid marriage, a loving teenage daughter and a good life in suburban Atlanta. But suddenly she comes home to find that Parker has left her and taken all their money.

Mary Bliss and her delightful best friend, Katharine, cook up a scheme to declare Parker legally dead and collect on a small insurance policy. With a forged death certificate procured in Mexico, Mary Bliss's crazy scheme seems to work—until her mother-in-law convinces teenager Erin that her dad is alive and living the high life on an island somewhere. When the insurance company investigates Parker's death, Mary Bliss stoically stands up under pressure, despite the continued appearance of handsome former cop Matt Hayslip on her doorstep.

(Jul., 384 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick