Seven Sisters

Earlene Fowler, Author
Earlene Fowler, Author Berkley Publishing Group $21.95 (308p) ISBN 978-0-425-17296-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 320 pages - 978-0-425-17917-8
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-21883-2
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-35225-3
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-101-50125-2
Hardcover - 978-1-57490-467-3
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Conflicting family loyalties and the burdens of the past lie at the heart of the engrossing seventh novel from four-time Agatha Award nominee Fowler to feature amateur sleuth Benni Harper. Benni's 19-year-old stepson, Sam Ortiz, confides in her that he and his pregnant girlfriend, Bliss Girard, a rookie cop in the San Celina, Calif., police department, want to marry. Benni fears that her husband, Gabe Ortiz, the town's police chief, will disapprove--and that so will Bliss's socially and politically prominent family, the Browns. Benni isn't certain how to react when Lydia Ortiz, Sam's mother and Gabe's first wife, arrives to discuss the domestic crisis. Matters come to a head when the extended families dine together at the Browns' ancestral stronghold, Seven Sisters Ranch. The murder of Giles Norton, husband of another Brown offshoot and the son of prominent vintners, puts everyone at Seven Sisters at risk. A sheriff's department newcomer, Ford ""Hud"" Hudson, investigates the killing, and quickly pegs Benni as an unofficial assistant because of her reputation for nosiness and her connections to the case. The tenacious Hud constantly backs Benni into corners whenever she shows signs of wanting to wash her hands of the whole affair. In the end, Benni's own instincts drive her to dig out the long-hidden truth behind the deaths of four of the original seven Brown sisters, for whom the ranch was named. How this secret relates to the present tragedy provides the stunning climax to a compelling story of families torn apart by divided loyalties. Agent, Deborah Schneider. 9-city author tour. (Apr.)
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