Robin Hathaway, Author . St. Martin's Minotaur/Dunne $22.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-312-30851-3

In an intriguing departure from her Doctor Fenimore novels (The Doctor Digs a Grave, etc.), Hathaway launches a new series with an unusual heroine. Reeling from the death of a young patient, Dr. Jo Banks abandons her job in Manhattan and hits the road. She ends up at a New Jersey motel, where she treats a woman who becomes suddenly ill. Impressed, the motel owner offers Jo a deal. None of the motel operators in the area can afford to keep a doctor on staff full-time; she can live and keep an office at his motel in return for serving their needs. At first reluctant, Jo soon warms to the area and finds a number of puzzles to pique her interest. Who was the dead man found disguised as a scarecrow in a local farmer's field? And what is the story behind an odd girl who wants to run away to the big city? Tooling about on a motorcycle, Jo encounters more strange events and even murder, and her penchant for nosiness leads her into danger that could prove life-threatening. As the young physician integrates herself into the community, Hathaway convincingly portrays small-town and rural New Jersey life in an appealing, sometimes poignant story with low-key suspense and winning characters. Agent, Laura Langlie. (Apr. 7)

FYI: The Doctor Digs a Grave won an Agatha Award for Best First Novel.

Reviewed on: 03/10/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
Hardcover - 227 pages - 978-1-57490-510-6
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4668-1436-3
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