Author: Charlaine Harris
Publication: Berkley; Reprint edition (March 6, 2007)
Description: Now best known for her New York Times bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels, Charlaine Harris hit "a home run the first time out" (Birmingham News) with the story of a murder that embroils a small-town reporter in mystery that hits close to home...
Catherine Linton has returned to her hometown of Lowfield, Mississippi, unconvinced that the death of her parents in a car crash six months earlier was an accident. And her suspicions are confirmed when she stumbles upon the dead and beaten body of her doctor-father's longtime nurse. There are secrets being kept in Lowfield. And the town where Catherine grew up may be the same place where she is sent to her grave...
My Thoughts: Catherine Linton is back in her home town of Lowfield, Mississippi, after the death of her parents in a car accident. Catherine left her first job after college as a reporter and returned home to try to come to terms with her loss. She is working for the local weekly paper as the society reporter and trying to find her way out of the depression that she fell into when her parents died.
She has never felt that her parents' accident was really an accident but the sheriff who is also a family friend couldn't find any evidence that the car was tampered with. However, when Catherine stumbles upon the body of her doctor father's long-time nurse, her suspicions are aroused again. She begins to investigate and soon learns that her quiet little southern town is filled with buried secrets. Someone is willing to kill to keep their secret hidden and Catherine is in danger.
This book was written in 1981 and is Harris's first book. There is evidence that this story is set in an earlier time. Catherine is quick to light up a cigarette to relieve stress. The sheriff pussy-foots around telling Catherine that her father's office nurse was the local abortionist because that isn't something a man would say to a nice southern young lady. Catherine's attitude toward her family's former housekeeper who is black and her housekeeper's son who is now a sheriff's deputy reflect attitudes that aren't contemporary and were a little uncomfortable for this contemporary reader. The mystery is well done and certainly well written.
Completist fans of Charlaine Harris won't want to miss this story.
Food, the southern offering on the altar of crisis. Catherine was bemused by its presentation now. Finding a corpse must be close enough to a death in the family to qualify.I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.