When Judge Deborah Knott is summoned to her ailing Aunt Rachel's bedside, she assumes the worst. Thankfully when she arrives at the hospice center she learns that Rachel hasn't passed; in fact, the dying woman is awake. Surrounded by her children, her extended family, and what seems like half of Colleton County, a semi-conscious Rachel breaks weeks of pained silence with snippets of stories as randomly pieced together as a well-worn patchwork quilt. But the Knott family's joy quickly gives way to shock: Less than an hour later, Aunt Rachel is found dead in her bed, smothered with a pillow.
Who would kill a woman on her deathbed? Was it an act of mercy, or murder? As Deborah and her husband, Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant, investigate they cross paths with an unlikely set of suspects: Rachel's longtime minister; her neighbor, the respected local doctor; the friendly single father who often sought her advice; and perhaps the most puzzling party of all, the Designated Daughters, a support group for caregivers that Rachel's own daughter belongs to.
Soon Deborah and Dwight realize that the key to solving this case is hidden in Rachel's mysterious final words. Her mixed-up memories harbored a dark secret - a secret that someone close to them is determined to bury forever.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2014 Margaret Maron (P)2014 Hachette Audio
In MWA Grand Master Maron's outstanding 19th mystery featuring judge Deborah Knott of North Carolina's Colleton County (after 2012's The Buzzard Table), Deborah's elderly aunt, Rachel Morton, lies near death in a hospice. Rachel attracts a crowd of friends and relatives as she talks of "babies, fires, and unpaid debts, of someone who beat his wife and of cowbirds and vegetables and broken jars." A distraction allows a killer enough time to slip into Rachel's room and smother her with a pillow, thus ending her ramblings, which apparently concealed deadly secrets. Unraveling those secrets - some 60 years old - is a slow, difficult process with lots of suspects among friends and family. Maron achieves a delicate balance as she explores differences between mistakes, sins, and crimes, and shows that justice is not always arrived at by conventional means. Humor (e.g., Deborah outfoxes an unscrupulous auctioneer) and social issues (e.g., the difficult role of caregivers to the elderly) add to the warmth of a large family with all its foibles, squabbles, and quirks. (Publishers Weekly)
Go back to original narrator.
Too put off by narrator to have a favorite.
I identified with the characters in the other narrators voice. I felt sort of lost listening to this narrator ,I never felt like I was drawn into the story I was too busy trying to figure out who was who in the story.
The story was good and the narrator's voice wasn't a bad voice , but I have come to identify the other narrator with Debra Knot .
If the author insists on narrating again, NO. i've listened to every previous book. they were all very enjoyable. why change from a very good narrator to the author? i couldn't get past the first couple of chapters.
i'm sure the book is fine, but i can't get past the sub-par narration.
She doesn't set the scene or know how to delineate characters. good narrators give a performance -- she gave a one-note reading.
I have listened to all of the Deborah Knott series. Love the stories with narrator CJ Critt. CJ makes the characters come to life. We know all the characters by CJ's voice interpretation .
Yes, as long as CJ narrates.
Nothing at all. Flat and unbelievable could not listen to whole story. Margaret Maron writes a heck of a suspense novel. However, she is not a narrator - she just reads story; where as CJ Critt "performs" the story with different intonations for each character. I'm very disappointed with this lack luster performance.
Can't get beyond the awful narration, it's clouding my judgement. I'm extremely disappointed.
Please, bring CJ Critt back. CJ is the true voice of Judge Deborah Knott. Margaret Maron please continue the series. Just stay in your " lane" as a great writer and allow the well trained performers (CJ) to continue on the path of flawless narration. "If it ain't broke don't fix it"!!!
The same as I have loved in all the Deborah Knott books-the story and the character development. Margaret Maron tells a wonderfully interesting story.
All of the other Deborah Knott books. Why? Same as above-story and character development.
I have mixed emotions. I was disappointed when I learned C.J. Critt wasn't the reader, but I did enjoy the story as told by Ms. Maron. That being said, I have listened to the entire series - more than once - and C.J. Critt has become the voice of the characters, almost like an old friend. Although I enjoyed the book, and I think Ms. Maron is a good reader, I really missed the familiar voices.
Find books so much better than movies, just don't see how any movie could do this series justice.
This story hits home with me as I am currently one of "the daughters" - caring for my parents (87 & 92), I can truly say Ms Maron captures the experience and all the emotions- this is a wonderful addition to the series.
Margaret Maron narrates for the 1st time. The stye here is more straight reading rather than performance, but I appreciate hearing a true North Carolina voice. Her soft tones and cadence brings a different dimension. This is old time story telling - I feel like I'm sitting outside of the tobacco barn listening to my mom & her brothers and sisters talking.
I'm reviewing only the narration. I truly enjoy Ms. Maron's books and have listened to this entire series. For me personally, I was unable to appreciate the change in narrators this late in the game. CJ Critt has done an excellent job on the series and "is" Deborah Knott in my mind. Ms. Maron, although a wonderful author, does not have the experience in narrating and I am disappointed in this change. She does not sound like a woman of Deborah's age or from that region.
I listen because I love the characters and story. I cringe because the narration is awful. Margaret Maron does herself no favors by reading the story herself. all the characters C.J. Critt created are lost in the monotone of Ms Marons narration.
Get C.J. Critt back
I enjoy the Deborah Knott series, especially the stories about her rural life and family.
I did not enjoy the narration at all.
A different narrator
Margaret Maron writes great books! They are very entertaining! However, Ms. Maron should stick to what she does best, and that is Write!! Let the narration go to the professionals, who are so much better at it than she is!! Her narration darned near put me to sleep a number of time, not a good thing when driving 80,000 pounds down the highway!!
I love all of her books, so long as they are narrated by C.J. Critt, who is the ultimate professional narrator!
The narrator... I have listened to the Deborah Knott series by Margaret Maron for several years. I found the narrator, while a wonderful author, to be very distracting to the story for me. Her voice does not fit the character of Deborah at all.
Not likely unless it is narrated by CK Critt, who I identify with as Deborah Knott.
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