The scenery is breathtaking in picturesque Cedar Gap, but it isn't long before Knott realizes that there's trouble brewing over how the little town in the Smokies will be developed. When one of the two local real estate moguls is murdered, the lid comes off the simmering dispute, giving Knott a bigger problem to solve than presiding over local court. Her twin cousins and a handsome attorney muddy the waters even further as Knott works toward resolution of the murder and her marital doubts.
Baltimore detective Tess Monaghan returns in Laura Lippman's By A Spider's Thread (William Morrow, 368 pages, $24.95). Boyfriend Crow has retreated to central Virginia to nurse his mother and wait for Monaghan to change her mind about turning down his marriage proposal. So Monaghan, like McCone, is on her own with her newest case: A wealthy Jewish furrier whose wife has vanished, taking their three children.