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North Carolina judge Deborah Knott may be all business when it comes to court, but she's usually fun loving when she's around her energetic family and her friend turned fiance Dwight Bryant. The stress of her impending marriage has made her prickly and uneasy, though, so she jumps at the chance to sub for a judge in another part of the state. After all, what better place to do serious thinking about her life than a gorgeous tourist town in the Blue Ridge Mountains? Unfortunately, the town is abuzz with the recent murder of a local doctor, and the accused is a friend of Deborah's college-age twin nieces. The twins are convinced their friend is innocent, and when another man is found dead, it begins to appear they are right. The mountain setting plays a huge role here, and Maron does a beautiful job with it, adding local color, as well as delightful regionalisms, to give her characters plenty of personality. When it comes right down to it, however, it's the comfortable ordinariness of Maron's distinctively unheroic heroine that makes this entry in the long-running series so appealing

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