Sunday, October 7, 2012

Signs in the Blood, by Vicki Lane

This is the first in the Elizabeth Goodweather series set in Marshall County, North Carolina.  When the book begins, the widow Elizabeth is suspicious and sad.  Her neighbor Birdie's son, Cletus, is found dead from an apparently accidental fall, and Birdie is convinced that something is amiss based on the facts that Cletus was hideously afraid of heights and his much loved rifle is missing.  So Birdie asks Elizabeth to help her ask around to find someone who might have seen Cletus before his death.  They make the rounds of snake-handlers, ginseng gatherers, a fertile collective , a militia encampment, and the  revival tent and studio of a preacher who paints the subjects of his sermons.  Elizabeth's relationships with just about everyone are strained.  A sad hill country story is embedded throughout.

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