High Country Fall is the 11th installment in Margaret Maron’s Deborah Knott series – more of a cozy series than crime fiction, but one of my favorite series nonetheless. I’ve been reading this series since 1996 and, for me, is has yet to get stale or predictable. In High Country Fall, Deborah jumps at the chance to fill in for another judge in the mountains of western North Carolina during the peak of fall – and to escape the wedding plans of her overzealous relatives now that she is engaged. Although she is barely in town for a week, Deborah attends a party where a fellow guest goes missing and gets involved with solving the mystery. Maron’s stories and clues are straightforward, but subtle, so I’m always left doubting my choice for who the killer might be. In this book, the discovery of the killer is somewhat anticlimactic after Deborah is involved in an unrelated, life-threatening accident, but the story also moves Deborah’s personal life forward another notch, leaving me waiting for the next book in the series (Rituals of the Season to be released in August 2005) and hopefully, the wedding of Deborah and Dwight.