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Deadly Descent

"Fast-paced, intelligent, and as cunningly woven as a spider's web, Deadly Descent is a mystery-lover's dream." -W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear New York Times bestselling authors Layers of deadly intrigue bind generations of families in historian Lottie Albright's Western Kansas community. When false accusations threaten senatorial candidate Brian Hadley's political career, secrets whispered to Lottie as editor of the county history books spur a personal search for his aunt's murderer. Ignoring warnings from her twin, clinical psychologistâ ¯Josie Albright, Lottie dons a badge to gain access to information. She delves into a horrifying cold case to prove her merits as a deputy and impresses Sheriff Sam Abbot with her ability to combine historical research methods and police procedure. Soon Josie and her sister add their helpful expertise in untangling the web of families bound by a lethal legacy of prideful secrets. Charlotte Hinger is a Western Kansas historian who edited more than 500 family submissions for county history books. Her historical novel Come Spring won the Western Writers of America Medicine Pipe Award. Deadly Descent was her first mystery, followed by Lethal Lineage.
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Publishers Weekly (07/20/2009): "Family secrets both past and present underpin this promising mystery debut from Hinger ("Come Spring"). In compiling oral histories for a county book project, western Kansas historian Lottie Albright encounters racist attitudes in a piece by a prominent local, Zelda St. John. Yet when Fiona Hadley, Zelda's sister and mother of political hopeful Brian Hadley, demands that Zelda's contribution be suppressed, Lottie's sensibilities as a historian are offended. When Zelda and her daughter are murdered, valuable documents are stolen and anonymous letters arrive from an unbalanced individual, Lottie enlists the help of her psychologist twin sister, Josie, with whom she has an uneasy relationship. Lottie's part-time job as a sheriff's deputy, tensions within her marriage and a sensational cold case involving a dead pregnant woman cause further complications. Readers who stick with the often awkward plotting will be rewarded by a nail-biting climax, when Kirkus Review - Adult (07/01/2009): "Delving into the past can be a dangerous pursuit. Lottie Albright has married an older man and moved to his home in a small western Kansas town, much to the disgust of her twin sister, clinical psychologist Josie. Lottie finds plenty to occupy her time as director of the Carlton County Historical Society and district manager of senatorial candidate Brian Hadley's campaign. But her peaceful life is shattered when Brian's aunt, Zelda St. John, is murdered and her daughter Judy accuses Brian's obnoxious mother Fiona of the deed. Lottie takes on Judy as a research assistant to keep her out of trouble, little realizing that dusty papers found in her attic will make Judy the next victim. As if intent on antagonizing her bridegroom along with her twin, Lottie takes on the job of deputy to shorthanded sheriff Sam Abbott, who must rely on the state police for help with the two homicides. Fascinated by an old murder case, Lottie hopes to gain at

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