30 May 2012

Sharyn McCrumb. If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him... New York: Ballentine, 1995.

Tomorrow is the last day of May, and I'm sure that all of the mystery readers out there know what that means - the Agatha Awards were announced earlier this month! (For those of you who did not know that, the Agathas are awarded by Malice Domestic, which holds a "fan fun" convention each May). North Carolina author Maragret Maron won the 2011 Agatha Award for Three Day Town, but way back in 1995, Sharyn McCrumb took home that honor with If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him... Besides putting the spotlight on a very talented Virginia author, this prize highlighted Southside Virginia!

With a title like If I'd Kill Him When I Met Him..., what could make you not want to read McCrumb's winning mystery?! Luckily for readers, this book is not just a clever cover. In the opening scenes, we meet a variety of characters in Danville, Virginia, across a few decades. First there is Lucy Todhunter, a Southern Belle who landed a wealthy Yankee (carpetbagger, if you ask the locals) with a mean streak after the Civil War. Then there's Eleanor Royden, the disgruntled ex-wife of a highly successful Roanoke lawyer who, in response to his midlife crisis, went out and married a bimbo. Finally we meet poor Donna Jean Morgan, the long-suffering wife of the Reverend Chevry Morgan who has just taken a second wife, the child bride Tanya Faith Reinhardt (the Lord told him to, after all).

What do each of these women have in common? Their husbands are dead, and everyone suspects the women. One is gloatingly guilty, one is completely innocent, and the last is very clever. Luckily for Eleanor and Donna Jean, they have the law office of MacPherson and Hill to represent them in any legal proceedings. And Elizabeth MacPherson, heroine of McCrumb's series and forensic anthropologist for the law firm, solves a related puzzling mystery, all while learning more about her zany family.

Find If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him... in the Charlotte County Library catalog.

Have you read If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him...? Please share your opinion about the book and this summary.

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