In this smart, sassy debut novel—winner of the Malice Domestic Award for best first mystery—unjustly disgraced lawyer Avery Andrews returns to her small southern hometown and becomes embroiled in various hard-luck and humorous cases that do nothing to improve her cash flow.

One of her clients is the seemingly clueless owner of a furniture assembly plant. Avery tries to sort out his troubles with environmental officials, but when the factory gets torched, all signs point to arson—and to her client. Against her better judgment, she tries to prove his innocence. Along the way, Avery needs help from a tough motorcycle gang, the female police chief who used to bully her in gym class and a handsome but grieving widower.

A spicy mystery with generous helpings of giggles and unforgettable characters, this is a must-read. (Apr., 304 pp., $23.95)
Reviewed by: 
Cindy Harrison