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All The Hungry Mothers (A Silver Dagger Mystery) Hardcover – December 5, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The third of Adams's works set in the small town of Jesus Creek, Tenn., this well-intentioned but ultimately unsatisfying Southern gothic focuses on domestic violence. An inexperienced young nanny, Janet Ayres, arrives in Jesus Creek to care for two-month-old Ariel Leach. The Leach household doubles as a safe house for battered women, and Ariel's mother, Sarah Elizabeth, juggles her volunteer work for a domestic violence hotline with a part-time job at the library, university classes and the demands of her razor-tongued mother-in-law--though her husband is mysteriously absent. Jesus Creek is peopled with an assortment of TV sitcom-style eccentrics, including an old codger who is documenting traces of UFO activity and a '60s-era hippy who gets tangled up in her yoga position. Janet comes to realize, though, that something is seriously amiss in the house next door where her new friend, Mary Ann, lives with her young son and seemingly devoted husband. Mary Ann's fate is entirely predictable, and readers will have no difficulty guessing the depressing climax. The story is told from Janet's perspective and as the nanny tends to both a pretentious vocabulary and an uptight attitude, the narrative suffers. Adams superficially chronicles several other cases of domestic violence, using the volunteer hotline as a device for introducing them into the story, but the reader learns too little about these women or their children to care much about their troubles. Domestic violence is a serious and frighteningly common problem, and this disappointing novel does not do justice to its important theme.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"...a quietly powerful case study which shows us just how easy it is for battering, whether emotional or physical, to occur right before our very eyes. Adams'' blend of humor and suspense strikes just he right note; never didactic, but educating while entertaining." -- Dean James, co-author of By A Woman's Hand

"A series rich in provocative themes and artful plots." -- Joan Hess, author of the Maggody series

"Adams' books perfectly capture the rhythms of life in a small town, where everyone sees it as a God-given right to know everybody else's business." -- The Baltimore Sun

"It takes a very daring writer to approach the sad and terrible subject of domestic violence with a touch of humor. Ms. Adams does it, and makes it work." -- Chico's Mystery Newsletter

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Product Details

  • Series: Jesus Creek Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Overmountain Press (December 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570721068
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570721069
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,168,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Flair and Macavity Award-winner Deborah Adams' first novel, All The Great Pretenders, was nominated for the Agatha Award in 1993. Since that time, Adams has earned a reputation among readers, critics, and booksellers as a talented author who consistently produces a more compelling story with each new novel.

A seventh-generation Tennessean, Adams brings to her work an appreciation for the lore and traditions of the South. Combining her sharply perceptive observations of human nature with a mature and biting wit, she creates satirical novels that gently tweak the reader's conscience while mercilessly tickling the funny bone. In addition to novels, her work has appeared in various anthologies and literary magazines.

She has been a guest lecturer at numerous events, including the Southern Festival of Books, Appalachian Studies Conference, the Warioto Regional Library Board of Trustees Conference, Southeastern Booksellers Association, Midwest Mystery Conference, Georgia Library Association Convention, Emory University, East Tennessee State University Writers Program and the Appalachian Writers Conference at Radford (VA) University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 26, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read mysteries for fun. I don't read them to hear about heavy societal issues, i.e., domestic violence. I've read all of the other Jesus Creek books except for one and have enjoyed them; except for this one. Ms. Adams handles the domestic violence issue well, but in my opinion, it just doesn't belong in light, amusing stories of Jesus Creek.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
It isn't often that an author can handle a heavy issue like domestic violence with taste, much less with humor. However Deborah Adams has done just that in "All The Hungry Mothers". This is a fast-paced, funny, yet tragic, story that I could barely put down. Excellent read.
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