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Mystery Review    

 

 

Last Lessons of Summer
By Margaret Maron
Warner Books, 2003
Hardcover, $23.95  (295 pages)
ISBN: 0-89296-780-3
 
 
 

After her mother's death, Amy Steadman's grandmother and father refused to talk about her mother. When Amy's grandmother is murdered, she decides to spend some time at her grandparents' summer home before it's sold to make room for progress. Secretly hoping she'll find answers, Amy leaves her husband, extended family, and work behind in order to clean out the North Carolina house and get to know her Southern family better. 

Amy's legacy from her grandparents is a merchandising and publishing empire, Pink and Blue and Max Enterprises. Her grandfather, an aspiring poet, borrowed phrases from her mother, using them to write stories, which his wife illustrated. Amy holds the controlling interest in the business but has been reluctant to wield her power over her father, step-siblings or husband. She has reasons to distrust each of them. 

While sorting through her grandmother's possessions, Amy ponders the problems in her marriage, the problems in her father and step-mother's marriage, and the problems in her grandparent's marriage. The parallels lead to considerable soul-searching. 

As she rediscovers her remaining family members, Amy finds her wealthy grandmother has not been generous or kind with her wealth. Money that would mean little to her grandmother had the potential to save any number of her family members from ruin. When Amy starts getting death threats, she begins to understand more about her mother's death and legacy. 

Last Lessons of Summer is a fine and satisfying read. 

Margaret Maron returned to her native North Carolina after spending many years in Brooklyn, New York. She's won the Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Awards.  

For more information about the author, please visit: www.margaretmaron.com .

 

Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

 

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