Designated Daughters by Margaret Maron

An old auntie is dying, and the entire Knott clan gathers to reminisce and say goodbye.  When she dozes off, everyone shuffles off for refreshments, and auntie passes away peacefully. Or did she? Had one person in the large Knott clan stayed behind to kill old woman?  Why would anyone kill someone who was about to die in days, if not in hours?

Judge Deborah and her husband Dwight have to solve this murder which touches the Knott family so intimately. Along the way, they talk to various women – and men – who are the Designated Daughters, the caretakers of their elderly relatives. Its amazing how many there are among Deborah’s friends and neighbors.

The twists and turns of the plot were fun to follow, as various motives are discovered, and I didn’t guess whodunnit until about a page before Deborah figured it out.

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