Penumbra by Carolyn Haines

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Jade Dupree is a beautician and an undertaker's assistant with a gift for smoothing the ravages of death from the faces of her clientele. But her strange talent isn’t the only thing that sets her apart from the townspeople of tiny Drexel, Mississippi.

Jade is half-black and the unacknowledged bastard daughter of Drexel’s ''first lady,'' the imperious Lucille Longier. Jade’s half sister, the pale, fragile, and legitimate Marlena, is married to Lucas Bramlett, the wealthiest man in the region. While the entire town knows of the blood bond between the two women, no one dares speak the truth out loud.

Though her talents as a hairdresser are highly sought after by Drexel’s elite, Jade accepts that she’ll never truly be part of the town and lives her life the best she can. But on one hot summer day in 1952, Jade’s world is turned inside out when Marlena, on a tryst with her lover, is savagely beaten and her young daughter kidnapped. Determined to find her niece before it’s too late, Jade accepts help from a white sheriff’s deputy, Frank Kimble. The forbidden attraction that ignites between them threatens to add to the violence already brewing in town.


About Carolyn Haines

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Carolyn Haines is the author of the Sarah Booth Delaney Mysteries. She is the recipient of both the Harper Lee Distinguished Writing Award and the Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence. Born and raised in Mississippi, she now lives in Alabama on a farm with more dogs, cats and horses than she can possibly keep track of.
Published August 23, 2011 by Tyrus Books. 300 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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In a placid, rural county of Mississippi in the years after World War II, Marlena Bramlett, a pretty young wife, takes her little daughter with her to a remote glade to meet a travelling salesman for a little picnic, a little fishing, and a little something else.

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