Sarasota lawyer Lilly Cleary has had her share of odd cases. She's defended everyone from a pet psychic to an orange libeler, and she's done so with finesse. But it's another situation entirely when she finds out that her phobic and dysfunctional mother has been accused of murder.
Although she's been estranged from her family for years, Lilly drops everything to return to the little town of Bugfest, Georgia, and steps into more than she bargained for. For one thing, her mother's house is beyond a mess. Important papers are missing, and on the back porch there's a freezer whose contents are very odd. Bugfest itself is under attack by developers who want to turn it into a resort community, a plan that would displace many of the longtime residents.
And then someone tries to murder Lilly's mother with red ants while she's strangely oversedated in the hospital.
Lilly has come to the rescue, but can she get to the root of these mysterious doings in time to save her mother's life?
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A former appellate attorney and former member of the writing faculty at Florida State University College of Law and the University of Oregon School of Law, Claire Hamner Matturro lives in Georgia.From Publishers Weekly:
At the start of Matturro's amusing fourth suspense novel to feature oh-so-perky Florida attorney Lilly Cleary (after 2006's Bone Valley), Lilly returns to her hometown of (not kidding) Bugfest, Ga. Lilly's mother, Willette, agoraphobic and bipolar, abused Lilly and brother Delvon as teenagers, and Lilly hasn't seen her in 20 years. But now Willette is both hospitalized and accused of murder, and Lilly mounts her lawyerly white horse. Along the way she encounters additional problems both old (greedy resort developers despoiling natural beauty) and new (endangered species sold as exotic meats for adventurous diners in big cities Up North). A curious blend of chick lit plus woman in jeopardy plus amateur detective, the book is somewhat hampered by overly cute phrasing and by the tendency of characters to stop what they're doing and explain themselves, just at crucial points when decisive action is needed. Lilly is full of contradictions: germophobic at OCD levels and a terminal flirt, but brave and dead-on effective. Readers who prefer their heroines with an extra dose of sass will find a lot to like. (Nov.)
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