Last Lessons of Summer (Maron, Margaret) Hardcover – 1 Aug 2003
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About the Author
Margaret Maron grew up on a farm near Raleigh, North Carolina, but for many years lived in Brooklyn, New York. When she returned to her North Carolina roots with her artist-husband, Joe, she began a series based on her own background. The first book, Bootlegger's Daughter, became a Washington Post bestseller that swept the top mystery awards for its year. Later Deborah Knott novels, Up Jumps the Devil and Storm Track won the Agatha award for Best Novel. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
This is a good and effortless read with a good plot and a satisfying resolution. The characters are interesting and their background unusual. As ever the setting is well realised.
There is nothing new in this novel, the story and characters are not particularly groundbreaking but it is a really good read and well worth purchasing for that alone.
I enjoyed it immensely.
We enter into the story as a member of the third generation, Ms. Amy Steadman, decides to flee to North Carolina to clean out the home in which her grandmother was recently murdered before agreeing to sell the property. It turns out that not all is smooth in Amy's life, despite her wealth. Amy is suspicious of her husband's lack of interest in her, dislikes her father's philandering, finds her siblings to be awkward to deal with, misses her Mom who committed suicide when Amy was small, and finds her myriad relatives to be confusing in their behavior.
All of this takes a more sinister turn when Amy begins receiving threatening telephone calls . . . and finds herself in danger. What will this sheltered woman do to protect herself and her family? What dark secrets are being hidden?
I found the mystery to have two serious drawbacks. First, this book is way overpopulated with characters who are in Amy's family. Thankfully, Ms. Maron provides a family tree in the beginning. But I couldn't seem to remember who was who because there are so many of them. Do you really want to keep track of 30 plus people in one family? I found most of them to be hard to distinguish in any way that added to the story.
Second, the mystery itself is only marginally mysterious enough to require any thought. I found that the ending was telegraphed in way too many ways . . . and too much too long to develop. In fact, without all of the extraneous (to me) characters, this mystery would have not been difficult enough to be interesting.
I hope that Ms. Maron will consider writing another book about Amy and her family that will not be a mystery. This family is too good to be lost in thinly veiled mysteries!
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