There are a number of things wrong with The Trial of Dr. Kate. The story is peopled with every 1950s small-town character stereotype imaginable. There is a good-hearted boardinghouse keeper, a mean sheriff, an earnest young African-American man trying to better himself despite prejudice, and a charming Southern “bad boy.” Then there is Dr. Kate, who has functioned remarkably well (and attracted little attention) despite constant, ongoing alcohol use. She cannot remember what happened at the time of the death. An implausible plot development involves Dr. Kate weaning herself off of alcohol while imprisoned in a small-town jail by having a flask smuggled in to her and drinking decreasing amounts daily. The novel, which is dedicated to Bill W. and Dr. Bob, mentions 12-step meetings but does not directly discuss them. And recovery from ETOH dependence, while an important element, it is not really the focus of the story. The novel builds up to a trial but is not really a courtroom drama. There are interesting ethical issues that arise at the end, but the story finishes without exploring them.