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November 10 , 2010

Cruel as the Grave


From New York Times bestselling author of A Cat in the Stacks mystery series, a novel about murder, family secrets and the deep, deep South…
A Deep South Mystery (#1)
Graduate student Maggie McLendon is at home in Houston, studying for exams, when a letter from her great aunt arrives, bearing bad news. Maggie's grandfather, Henry McLendon is seriously ill in Jackson, Mississippi. Maggie's never met her relations: her father, English professor Gerard McLendon, has been estranged from his family since Maggie was an infant; perhaps now there is one last chance for the McLendons to be reunited.
The family welcomes Maggie and her father with open arms to Jackson, but almost immediately, a murderer strikes—and Gerard McLendon is the chief suspect. But when the killer strikes a second time, it looks like Maggie’s father could be the next victim…
Racing against time, Maggie delves deep into the mystery surrounding her grandmother’s suspicious death 25 years ago and discovers long-held family secrets that could lead her straight to the killer. If only she can get there in time to save her father…
"In Cruel as the Grave, Dean James brings to life a family burdened by dark secrets. Determined sleuth Maggie McLendon peels away layers of hidden sadness to find the truth of her heritage in a haunting mystery steeped in the richness of Southern culture." –Carolyn Hart, author of the Death on Demand and Henrie O mysteries
"Cruel as the Grave is an engaging, literate novel of family secrets and skullduggery. With a clever plot and appealing characterization, Mr. James has created the perfect English drawing room mystery set smack in the middle of steamy Mississippi. It is a witty and solid debut that will leave mystery readers clamoring for more." –Earlene Fowler, author of Seven Sisters
"Cruel As The Grave exposes the underbelly of a Southern family, where secrets and skeletons lurk, cloaked in every imaginable guise. Well-written, deftly-plotted, and highly-recommended for fans of Faulkner and others who zeroed in on the dysfunctional social structure that, to this day, continues to be concealed by superficiality and faded magnolia blossoms." –Joan Hess, author of the Maggody and Clair Malloy mysteries
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