Darla Cavanaugh and her husband, Dr. Stephen Nicoletti, are on the verge of adopting a baby girl from China, but Darla must leave immediately or the adoption won’t go through. A call from Mississippi Governor, Wilson Burnett, derails her plans.
An Afro-American student and Burnett’s adopted daughter, who was just inducted into a previously segregated sorority, has been found hanging from a tree on the Ole Miss campus. This immediately appears to be a hate crime, but as Darla and her partner Rita Gibbons investigate the case becomes more complicated.
Darla and Rita are enjoyable characters. Darla is all business, but Rita provides some comic relief. She’s a red-neck and proud of it. I love the way she punctures the pretensions of the society girls in the sorority.
The setting is well described giving a good background for the question of whether this was a lynching, or a crime with a different motivation. The complications of the segregated sorority, a white supremacist group, and the governor’s political enemies, provide a number or twists. I was not surprised by the ending. It’s not easy to guess, but the author provides enough clues that you feel satisfied by the outcome.
I recommend this book if you enjoy mysteries with believable female detectives.
I received this book from Alibi for this review.