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Designated Daughters    by Margaret Maron order for
Designated Daughters
by Margaret Maron
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I always enjoy spending time with Judge Deborah Knott, though it's getting harder and harder to keep track of her sprawling extended family!

And they're all present and accounted for at Aunt Rachel's bedside in the hospice. Aunt Rachel has unexpectedly awoken from the coma she's been in since her stroke, and is (semi-consciously) 'talking a blue streak', babbling about the past. Many hours later, after numerous family members have gathered, Rachel is found smothered with a pillow? Why would someone murder a dying woman? What did they want to keep secret? Was an old family tragedy actually murder?

As Deborah's husband Dwight investigates and this plotline evolves, Deborah is contacted by the Designated Daughters, a support group for caregivers of (usually elderly) relatives. They seek her advice about a fraudulent auctioneer, but there's no legal recourse. The Judge does what she can though - she feels strongly about consumer fraud and the elderly as 'no one's off-limits to these bottom-feeders.'

It turns out that there are several people with strong motives to keep Aunt Rachel from telling all she knew, but the one who did it is entirely unexpected, and the secret was ironically not a secret at all. Deborah Knott fans will appreciate Designated Daughters.

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