An early morning phone call from the Grande Dame of Atlanta society sets intrepid reporter Amanda Roberts on a quest to solve a 50-year-old mystery. Despite her dictatorial ways, Miss Martha Wellington has always held a special place in Amanda's heart. What she now wants from Amanda are the answers to long-buried questions that may hold a clue to recent events.

Fifty years ago, Miss Martha had just gotten engaged to William Ashford when he was accused of being a bootlegger and murdering a Revenue Agent. During the ensuing scandal, William released Miss Martha from their engagement. Loving William as she did, Miss Martha never married and now, all these years later, William's grandson Willie Ashford is suddenly accused of the very same crime. Martha wants Amanda and her Private Investigator husband Joe to uncover the truth about both crimes.

Does someone hate the Ashford family enough to frame two generations of men for murder? The Ashfords have always been bootleggers in a cat-and- mouse game with the Revenuers, but murder? The deeper Amanda and Joe dig, the more anger, bitterness and hatred they uncover. With Miss Martha's health failing, they are in a race against time to uncover the truth.

With each new novel, the Amanda Roberts character continues to develop and become more rounded. Family love and responsibility become critical new elements in her life as she and Joe attempt to raise a teenager and receive a bit of surprising news. Wonderful reading for all fans of the terrific Sherryl Woods. (Oct., 336 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith