High Country Fall - Margaret Maron
"Judge Deborah Knott has agreed to "tie the knot" with childhood friend Deputy Sheriff Dwight Bryant, and her numerous relatives are acting as if it's the love match of the century. It's not, and suddenly Deborah's wondering whether friendship, mutual history, and good sex are enough to make a marriage. Her antidote for cold feet? She's heading for the hills." "When asked to fill in for a vacationing judge in Cedar Gap, a five-hour drive from her flatland home, Deborah readily agrees. It's the perfect place to clear her head with its fresh mountain air, gorgeous fall foliage, and tourists thicker than fleas on a blue tick hound." "But a prominent Cedar Gap doctor has been brutally murdered and Judge Knott arrives in time to hear the probable cause case against the young man who's been arrested. With enough evidence to go to trial, Deborah rules that the case can go forward...despite her reservations about his guilt." When a second prominent citizen takes a deadly fall, Deborah realizes that an undercurrent of malice runs through this postcard pretty town, where real estate prices are soaring and rich outsiders are replacing the locals amid the rolling hills. Soon, she's looking at Cedar Gap with critical eyes while giving an equally hard look at her relationship with Dwight. What she sees will rock her with a whole new theory about the murder case...and her impending marriage. Yet Deborah Knott had better take a look in her rearview mirror as well, or she could end up as another corpse in the High Country fall.