This was really a great book! I thought it would be just another cozy, but was totally surprised! Likeable characters, and a wonderful plot that just when you think you know all the answers, the author throws you a curve ball!
I really wanted to like this book, but just couldn't. It is set in my "neck of the woods" and much of it rang true. But there were too many characters and the time sequence was often off. Things happened much too fast or too slowly to be believable. Also someone would do something that took one day in the book and another character would talk about it being a longer time period. The ending was nothing that could have been predicted from the story line (I know sometimes that's good, but trust me it wasn't) and the title had nothing to do with the story.
Jackson Grant is a judge in tiny Post Oak Texas. He is rasing a teen-age daughter and dodging the match making of his neighbors. Things change when his shrewish sister-in-law is killed on her patio, and his brother is accused of the crime
I just read Cathy H.'s review before posting mine and all I really have to write is DITTO. She covered all of the points I would have- disconnected title, things happening way too fast, too many characters who had nothing to do with the storyline and were just thrown in there....but what annoyed me most was the ending- motive wasn't explained very clearly at all. As I was reading, I actually kind of liked the book, but after that ending I was annoyed that I'd wasted my time.
From Publishers Weekly
All you fans of Bell's six cozies about small-town Texan Biggie Weatherford and her 12-year-old grandson, J.R. (Biggie and the Meddlesome Mailman, etc.), should saunter on down to Post Oak, Tex., and meet Judge Jackson Crain and his 13-year-old daughter, Patty. The judge's beloved wife has been dead for two years, and the ladies of the town, particularly Dora, his shrewish sister-in-law, are determined to find him a nice, motherly replacement. Dora's henpecked husband, Ron, has found consolation in the arms of Muriel, the waitress at a popular restaurant. The day after Dora ridicules Ron's request for a divorce, she turns up dead on the patio. Whom would you suspect? Meanwhile, in the mansion on the hill, the elderly couple purported to be the town's wealthiest citizens are being plagued by noisy intruders in the attic and mysterious fires in the living room. Then a farmer's son stumbles across a pretty girl, naked and dead in his field. Everyone expects Jackson to sort it all out, but he's having serious distractions of his own in the form of an exotic newcomer with whom he's fallen hopelessly in love. Bell's plot sprawls like its location, but it all comes together in a most unexpected and gratifying conclusion.
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Just discovered this series at a Library book sale. This edition is a discarded library hardcover in excellent condition. I really enjoyed the character of Judge Jackson Crain and especially enjoyed the budding romance between him and the new girl in town. Will look forward to reading the other books in the series. Highly recommend it.