This isn't Maron's strongest book, but it's a solid entry in the series. The villain was more obvious than usual. It's not telegraphed, but it was my early pick. However, I don't read these books for puzzle solving. I read them for characters and the setting. Still, the procedures, politics and such make the books more about the characters learning who the murderer is than the reader finding it out with plenty of slices of life along the way.
First of all, I like Deborah and Dwight married. Deborah's quit going from man to man, bad choice to bad choice, to a good man. There's chemistry there which I enjoy. I like that they work in conjunction in solving the mystery and that multiple viewpoints are offered, beyond their two, too.
I also appreciate the Southern setting where there's an array of Southern characters, all true and faithful to their setting, but they never become caricatures. So many series, especially cozies, rely on caricature and stereotypes. Sometimes Maron's villains might lean towards that problem, but they still fail to fall into the mark. (I don't consider Maron a cozy writer, either, although she's clean and circumspect enough to fit in that market.)
The plot summary can be read on the cover or Amazon, but Maron always offers up food for thought, too. This time she explores an old-fashioned church congregation where women are subjugated as well as the building and population booms in once rural areas. Even when we don't like characters, we can find some sympathy with them, at least most of them. The possible villains in this one were played a little less sympathetic than usual for Maron. Still, there is respect and understanding of the culture and its occupants. Everyone feels real, many would make wonderful friends. And once a year, when I get to read a new Maron novel, they are. My only disappointment is that the book wasn't longer!