All the Blood Relations by Deborah Adams

Ballantine (first), 1997

The sixth in a charming series set in Jesus Creek, Tennessee, finds Deputy (formerly waitress) Kay Martin virtually on her own when the town’s florist is murdered soon after the arrival of the daughter she’d put up for adoption as a teenager. When the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation picks the daughter as the killer, Kay has her doubts, but she has other duties: to find the elusive Jason, a motorcycle-mounted thief who has endeared himself to the townsfolk, and a young wife who had gone out for milk and not come home. Along with the solutions to her several mysteries, Kay uncovers possible evidence of extraterrestrial visitors and runs up against a cult of malevolent misogynists dedicated to putting their wives back in their places. The mysteries are mildly intriguing and only partly resolved, but they are secondary to the pleasure delivered by the spontaneous energy of Kay and the company of the residents of Jesus Creek. As she demonstrated in the earlier books in her series, Adams is more interested in talking about the people of Jesus Creek and their relationships with each other — those of blood and those of marriage — than she is in the whodunit. And she tells her tales very well. (Kathy Phillips)

Originally published in Issue #146 – January/February 1999

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