The Magnolia Triangle


Just seven months after a murderous rampage by a crazed police officer, the close-knit, north-Mississippi community of Oakdale is rocked again when widowed socialite Sherry Rutledge is found dead in her swimming pool by daughter Nancy. Sherry’s younger daughter Caitlyn, who admits to being in her mother’s house near the time of death, is the initial suspect when a neighbor—with motivations of his own—implicates her to the police.

But everything changes when eight-year-old Holly Bryan tells older brother Keller—who grew up three houses from the Rutledge’s and is dating Caitlyn—that she saw Nancy push Sherry Rutledge into the pool that evening. Keller, meanwhile, is in the process of assuming legal guardianship of Holly when his mother’s behavior suddenly becomes erratic and his father (allegedly on a business trip) doesn’t return his son’s frantic calls.

Suddenly Keller doesn’t know who to trust: from the grim, hard-to-read police chief … to the daycare director that seems intent on ripping the Bryan family apart … to Caitlyn, the love of his life. The last thing Keller wants to imagine is Caitlyn murdering her own mother. And did Holly really see Sherry drown, or is her story the figment of an active imagination?

A tale of three dysfunctional families in a town where everybody knows everybody else’s business, The Magnolia Triangle is packed with scandal, greed, lust, jealousy, and heartbreak, as well as honest, hard-working people trying to do the right thing. Taken at breakneck speed, it’s a classic Southern thriller that will keep you guessing until the final page.

“Murder, bribery, kidnapping and sex in this page-turner keep the reader guessing about the next twist up to the very end.”
—David Beckwith,

“This novel, like Lee’s previous forays into the genre, is distinguished by its realistic but always fascinating southern-fried characters …”
—Jim Fraiser, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

“Joe Lee has concocted a fast-paced thriller that drips with Southern authenticity. From start to finish, a crisp, engaging read packed with insight.”
—Robert Dalby, author, A Piggly Wiggly Wedding and Waltzing at The Piggly Wiggly

“When family secrets and greed collide, you have a story hotter than a Mississippi summer night. Joe Lee has written a real Southern-fried page-turner. I couldn’t put it down.”
—Marshall Ramsey, editorial cartoonist, The Clarion Ledger

“Triangle is clearly Lee’s strongest work to date, with Southern-dipped shenanigans that would make Gossip Girl blanch.”
—J.C. Patterson, The Madison Herald

“ … an entertaining book that will keep you guessing, and keep you reading into the wee hours of the night.”
—Mary Emrick, Bluffs & Bayous Magazine