I have been waiting for a charming, well-written, well-paced book with a contemporary female character who is intelligent, funny, and lives in a small town in South Carolina. I think I found it.
Avery Andrews stars in this fourth book in Pickens's series. Avery is an attorney who has given up life in the big city with a big law office for the familiar terra firma of her childhood. She is struggling to establish a general practice with what she fears are the dregs that other lawyers in town refuse to handle. To extend what little money she has, she has taken to renting both home and office in a former mortuary. As part of her rental agreement, she is also the handy(wo)man for the rambling ex-mortuary/mansion.
The main story may be about a woman trying to locate her missing foster sister, but the really interesting stuff is about Avery's new secretary, her imperturbable investigator, her debonair older landlord (a la Kinsey Millhone), and the fix-it tips related to her home repair. As a bonus, Pickens interprets the South for us non-southerners without creating a parody.