Sharyn is the third generation of Howards to be elected sheriff in the small town of Diamond Springs, North Carolina. She has her hands full when word of a bear attack throws the town in a tizzy, especially when a reporter prints a false story claiming that the bear was rabid. The victim was Darva Richmond, the sister-in-law to Beau Richmond, a man previously murdered. Her husband was suing his brother's widow over a large inheritance. While the mauling is tragic, no one initially suspects foul play until officers look beyond initial evidence.
As clues are revealed, Darva's husband seems to be the logic suspect. But his bitter family also provides is also suspicious. Further, Darva's aunt, Miss Eleanore, arrives in town with her accusations. Contradictory reports of Darva's marriage add to the confusion as friends report that Darva and husband Donald were the perfect couple, yet family claims that they were always fighting and didn't sleep together. Donald was contesting his brother's will because it was changed during the last few months of Beau Richmond's life. Donald says he brother was stable enough to make out a new will that changed his heir from being his brother to being his new wife. Millions are at stake.
In addition to a touchy investigation, Sharyn finds herself confronting a host of other problems. District Attorney Jack Winter is determined to express his romantic interest and doesn't hesitate to use political machinations for his own purposes. She also must find a date to attend her mother's engagement party, although her mother's marrying Senator Caison Talbot, a man Sharyn neither likes nor trusts. Her deputies seem to be fighting affairs of the heart that leave her short staffed. Further, because she doesn't see herself or her job as desirable, she's clueless in realizing her medical examiner is interested. To top it off, the dry cleaners dyed her uniforms blue. (Summary via Goodreads)
I LOVE Diamond Springs and everything and everyone there !!! If you haven't started reading the Sharon Howard Mystery series by Joyce and Jim Lavene, I highly recommend that you add it to your list.
I thought Book 3, The Last to Remember, was mind blowing BUT it is nothing compared to Until Our Last Embrace. Until Our Last Embrace continues with the Richmond family. In Book 3 Beau Richmond was murdered and his killer brought to justice but now in Book 4 we have his brother, Donald, and sister-in-law, Darva, in town to contest Beau's will. Unfortunately before any of that can be resolved Darva is killed.
To get away from the rest of the family, Donald and Darva go camping for a night only to have Darva attacked by a bear and killed. But further investigation by the Sheriff and medical examiner, Nick show a different story !!
As Sheriff Sharyn and her deputies work the case, the Sheriff is also dealing with the DA Jack Winters who wants take their "relationship" in a different directions. Everyone is telling her to tread smoothly but her only focus is on being the Sheriff and solving cases and keeping Diamond Springs safe. Her focus is so straight-lined that she can't even see how Nick feels about her...although everyone is hinting at it. Would someone please lock the two of them in the interrogation room and not open the door until they are kissing ?
The Sharyn Howard Mystery series has it all....murder, mystery, twists, secrets, lies, love, family, friends, and so much more !!! The ending will leave you breathless and turning the page for more even though you know that there isn't any....yet !
Review by Missi S.