A nice debut novel along the lines of a Southern Gothic. Derek Mason was banished from his wealthy & influential family when he announced he was gay. The death of a beloved aunt brings him back to North Carolina after several years in California, where deeply buried family secrets begin to emerge.
Lilly's style is very similar to Michael Craft's in the Mark Manning mysteries.
The writing style is pleasant for the most part. But I found the "hero" Derek too annoying, immature and self-centered to really feel connected with what was going on. For instance, he comes cross country to a funeral and stays with his aunt who just suffered the loss, and whom he hardly ever sees but loves, then goes out for a one-night-stand with a man he just met. (Plus he was constantly described as smoking. Another turn-off.)
The mystery was ok in itself. I think the author would do well to retire Derek and use his talents to create stories around a more appealing character. Then I might try another one of his books. I don't plan to spend another 200 pages with Derek.