hits counter Bootlegger's Daughter - Ebook PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Bootlegger's Daughter

Availability: Ready to download

This first novel in Maron's Imperfect series, which won the Edgar Award for best mystery novel in 1993, introduces heroine Deborah Knott, an attorney and the daughter of an infamous North Carolina bootlegger. Known for her knowledge of the region's past and popular with the locals, Deb is asked by 18-year-old Gayle Whitehead to investigate the unsolved murder of her mother This first novel in Maron's Imperfect series, which won the Edgar Award for best mystery novel in 1993, introduces heroine Deborah Knott, an attorney and the daughter of an infamous North Carolina bootlegger. Known for her knowledge of the region's past and popular with the locals, Deb is asked by 18-year-old Gayle Whitehead to investigate the unsolved murder of her mother Janie, who died when Gayle was an infant. While visiting the owner of the property where Janie's body was found, Deb learns of Janie's more-than-promiscuous past. Piecing together lost clues and buried secrets Deb is introduced to Janie's darker side, but it's not until another murder occurs that she uncovers the truth.


Compare

This first novel in Maron's Imperfect series, which won the Edgar Award for best mystery novel in 1993, introduces heroine Deborah Knott, an attorney and the daughter of an infamous North Carolina bootlegger. Known for her knowledge of the region's past and popular with the locals, Deb is asked by 18-year-old Gayle Whitehead to investigate the unsolved murder of her mother This first novel in Maron's Imperfect series, which won the Edgar Award for best mystery novel in 1993, introduces heroine Deborah Knott, an attorney and the daughter of an infamous North Carolina bootlegger. Known for her knowledge of the region's past and popular with the locals, Deb is asked by 18-year-old Gayle Whitehead to investigate the unsolved murder of her mother Janie, who died when Gayle was an infant. While visiting the owner of the property where Janie's body was found, Deb learns of Janie's more-than-promiscuous past. Piecing together lost clues and buried secrets Deb is introduced to Janie's darker side, but it's not until another murder occurs that she uncovers the truth.

30 review for Bootlegger's Daughter

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ronan Drew

    When Bootlegger's Daughter was published in 1992 it won Dilys, Macavity, Anthony, and Edgar awards. That's an impressive record, so I borrowed the book from the library. I loved it, partly because it takes place in the area of North Carolina where I lived for some years and the author, who lives there also, has the local color perfect. Eating Carolina barbecue (with vinegar) and watching a Durham Bull's game on a warm summer evening, admiring the azaleas and dogwoods, big summer picnics with gue When Bootlegger's Daughter was published in 1992 it won Dilys, Macavity, Anthony, and Edgar awards. That's an impressive record, so I borrowed the book from the library. I loved it, partly because it takes place in the area of North Carolina where I lived for some years and the author, who lives there also, has the local color perfect. Eating Carolina barbecue (with vinegar) and watching a Durham Bull's game on a warm summer evening, admiring the azaleas and dogwoods, big summer picnics with guests parking in the fields, even the chiggers and midges. Then I forgot about the book for 20 years until something brought it to my attention the other day and I borrowed it from the library. And it's even better the second time around. Besides all that local color there is some excellent characterization, especially that of the main character, Deborah Knott, an attorney in a small North Carolina town who is running for district judge. Eighteen years previously a local woman was murdered and the police were never able to figure out who did it. The cold case was reopened 10 years later with no better results. Now the daughter of the dead woman asks Deborah to find out what she can about the murder. Deborah knows everybody in town and her family and theirs go back many generations so she knows whom to talk to. As she begins to ask around she discovers some clues that were held back by the police and that might help track down the murderer. But this sleuthing is doing nothing to enhance her chances of winning the judgeship.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Karl

    This hardcover edition is signed by Margaret Maron.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shaun

    This was quite good for what it is. I enjoy mysteries, but they're not my absolute favorite relatively speaking (not their fault of course, but there are just so many books and so little time). Still, this was quite satisfying, and I can see why it swept the Mystery awards the year it came out. The protagonist Deborah Knott has just enough moxy and sass to win your respect but also enough vulnerability and insecurity to keep her interesting. The other characters were also well-drawn and fun. Maro This was quite good for what it is. I enjoy mysteries, but they're not my absolute favorite relatively speaking (not their fault of course, but there are just so many books and so little time). Still, this was quite satisfying, and I can see why it swept the Mystery awards the year it came out. The protagonist Deborah Knott has just enough moxy and sass to win your respect but also enough vulnerability and insecurity to keep her interesting. The other characters were also well-drawn and fun. Maron does a great job bringing a small southern town to life, while addressing important(and heavy) social issues like racism, sexism, homophobia especially as they relate to the American South, which is tough in this particular narrative which is also supposed to be light and fun. She does it and she makes it work. The writing is also top-notch with prose that are tight, fluid, and fun to read. There are several layers to this mystery and I did figure them out, though I would like to think that more a credit to me than a discredit to the author. I initially picked this up because of the praise it has received and because of Maron's reputation. Happy to say I was not disappointed. While released in the '90s, it's a little outdated, but still a worthy read particularly for fans interested in reading the "best of the best" within the mystery genre. I picked up two additional books in this series at my local library, a bag of books for a dollar kind of deal and look forward to reading more. May even make my way through the series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I read this book because it was selected by my book club, though I'm still trying to figure out why they selected it. It is what you might call a cozy criminal mystery with an attorney playing private detective as a favor to someone she used to babysit for years ago. But I didn't find it too cozy a story with all the unlikable characters and their prejudices directed at people who were different from them in gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation. This story takes place in North Carolina I read this book because it was selected by my book club, though I'm still trying to figure out why they selected it. It is what you might call a cozy criminal mystery with an attorney playing private detective as a favor to someone she used to babysit for years ago. But I didn't find it too cozy a story with all the unlikable characters and their prejudices directed at people who were different from them in gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation. This story takes place in North Carolina in 1990. I checked the date twice because I thought I might have read it wrong since it seemed more like 1960 with the characters' non accepting attitudes. I think I have a few new permanent frown lines after spending more than a week reading this book in which the main character, daughter of a bootlegger, is investigating an unsolved murder case from eighteen years back. The mystery is the only reason I gave this book two stars instead of one. Even though I guessed some of what happened, it kept me interested enough to finish the book to find out the rest. But wow, I wanted to knock some sense into the characters' heads, including the whiny, self pitying, petty-minded main character. Oh well. If my writing this review saves someone from choosing this book, my time spent reading it will have been worth it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

    A good mystery book. The first in the Deborah Knott series. A good look at the South. I like the main character. She is realistic and not too sexy. She is intelligent. The only problem I had with the book is that there are about a billion characters and it's really hard to keep them all straight. Surprise ending. Very well-written. Main themes: discrimination against homosexuals, discrimination against women, discrimination against African-Americans.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Loved this book. Deborah Knott is running for District judge in a NC county. Daughter of the local bootlegger, she is well known in the community. When a girl she used to babsysit for asks her to look into her mother's death when she was a baby, she gets involved in very old secrets. The community flavor and characters are very believable and intersting. And I really like Deborah and wanted to cheer her on in the political race. This is a very good read and I cant beleive it took me so long to g Loved this book. Deborah Knott is running for District judge in a NC county. Daughter of the local bootlegger, she is well known in the community. When a girl she used to babsysit for asks her to look into her mother's death when she was a baby, she gets involved in very old secrets. The community flavor and characters are very believable and intersting. And I really like Deborah and wanted to cheer her on in the political race. This is a very good read and I cant beleive it took me so long to get to it. Well worth it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    I'd read this book soon after it first came out, but my memory was a bit hazy, and in any case my "rules" for the Edgar Best Novel project include re-reading the books I've already read. It was a real treat to re-read this one, especially after reading the "prequel" (actually a stand-alone) Bloody Kin. I knew , having kept up with Judge Deborah Knott, that her character had grown and changed a lot over the years, but reading this book reinforced how much that was true. Deborah is 34 in this book I'd read this book soon after it first came out, but my memory was a bit hazy, and in any case my "rules" for the Edgar Best Novel project include re-reading the books I've already read. It was a real treat to re-read this one, especially after reading the "prequel" (actually a stand-alone) Bloody Kin. I knew , having kept up with Judge Deborah Knott, that her character had grown and changed a lot over the years, but reading this book reinforced how much that was true. Deborah is 34 in this book (and she seems about 39 in the most recent one I've read -- wish I could age that way!)and running for a district judge-ship -- a semi-partisan post in North Carolina. Her father Kezzie, the (ex-)bootlegger of the title, is 82 and she's having a fuss with him because she thinks he doesn't take her, his only daughter, seriously. A young woman asks Deborah to investigate an 18-year-old murder and danger ensues. Maron's great regional voice, the ins and outs of Deborah's family, and the many changes taking place in the South are constants in this series, and all are present in the first volume. It was edgier than I remembered, and just as good. Highly recommended as are all Maron's books.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jake

    There is a good writer within Margaret Maron. Her dialogue is solid, her characters are three-dimensional, and her settings are vividly described. Unfortunately, I felt that she wasted far too much time talking about North Carolina high society (same issue I had with New Orleans Mourning) and too little talking about the mystery, which became kind of obvious after awhile. I'm probably shorting this book a star to be spiteful but I wanted a solid murder mystery, not a romp through lifestyles of t There is a good writer within Margaret Maron. Her dialogue is solid, her characters are three-dimensional, and her settings are vividly described. Unfortunately, I felt that she wasted far too much time talking about North Carolina high society (same issue I had with New Orleans Mourning) and too little talking about the mystery, which became kind of obvious after awhile. I'm probably shorting this book a star to be spiteful but I wanted a solid murder mystery, not a romp through lifestyles of the south. Moreover, who the hell picks these Edgar Award winners? I've read a bunch of them and, while they're not bad, they're not really what I would consider to be the best mysteries. I already explained the issues I had with New Orleans Mourning. LaBrava is fine but far from Elmore Leonard's best work. Eye of the Needle is decent but overrated. Same with The Day of the Jackal. All of these are more notable for their atmospheres than their cases. Does anyone else pick up on this? Maybe it's just me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    LJ

    BOOTLEGGER'S DAUGHTER - Ex Maron, Margaret - 1st in series Deborah Knott is an attorney and the daughter of an infamous North Carolina bootlegger. Known for her knowledge of the region's past and popular with the locals, Deb is asked by 18-year-old Gayle Whitehead to investigate the unsolved murder of her mother Janie, who died when Gayle was an infant. While visiting the owner of the property where Janie's body was found, Deb learns of Janie's more-than-promiscuous past. Piecing together lost clu BOOTLEGGER'S DAUGHTER - Ex Maron, Margaret - 1st in series Deborah Knott is an attorney and the daughter of an infamous North Carolina bootlegger. Known for her knowledge of the region's past and popular with the locals, Deb is asked by 18-year-old Gayle Whitehead to investigate the unsolved murder of her mother Janie, who died when Gayle was an infant. While visiting the owner of the property where Janie's body was found, Deb learns of Janie's more-than-promiscuous past. Piecing together lost clues and buried secrets Deb is introduced to Janie's darker side, but it's not until another murder occurs that she uncovers the truth. I loved this book. The characters were so well drawn and the sense of place alive.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    DNF'd at 26% I remember when this book hit the stands back in the early 90s, and it was the recipient of quite a few awards. I had kept it in mind for a while, then totally forgot about it for years, until recently I saw some mention of Margaret Maron and lo and behold, her series has grown to 20 books or so. All favourably reviewed. I'm always interested in getting invested in a really good series to fall back on, so I was excited to finally give Bootlegger's Daughter a try. It was a difficult go DNF'd at 26% I remember when this book hit the stands back in the early 90s, and it was the recipient of quite a few awards. I had kept it in mind for a while, then totally forgot about it for years, until recently I saw some mention of Margaret Maron and lo and behold, her series has grown to 20 books or so. All favourably reviewed. I'm always interested in getting invested in a really good series to fall back on, so I was excited to finally give Bootlegger's Daughter a try. It was a difficult go for me. I'm not from the south, but I have read a considerable number of books set in there, but this was the first time there were several turns of phrase and grammar that had to make me stop and wonder if these were typos or not. And for such a smallish novel, there were a ton of characters that were lightly introduced which did not help one bit to keep track of who was related to who. Also, at least three times, something was written that made some sort of inference as to why someone would do or think this or that, and I had to stop and think, why are we even asking that question? What does that have to do with what was just said? For example: Our main protagonist is chatting with someone about his ex-wife, who had been cheating on him. The ex-wife's friend had also been cheating on her partner (she (the friend (this is exhausting))had dated this guy previously) and she (our protagonist) asks if that was why the two woman weren't friends anymore. This made no sense to me and I spent five minutes going back and re-reading to see if I had missed something. And I did...it was a timeline thing which wasn't clear. I'm still not totally clear on it. This type of thing happened at least twice in a mere 69 pages. Maybe it is me and I'm thick. Regardless, I have no time for writing that takes me out of reading momentum to try to get things straight. This book wasn't for me, unfortunately.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Fellini_md

    Honestly, it was quite rasist and homophobic, however author tried to make it looks none of these, but the feelings about this book were uncomfortable. The storyline was okay, but the main detective line took like twenty pages, the rest was about "southern manners" and a lot of characters or their families which weren't even alive or matter to the book, they as for me were just placeholders for not a huge book. I know it's a big series about Deborah Knott, but it's definitely not for me

  12. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    Full review can be found here: https://www.criminalelement.com/edgar... Full review can be found here: https://www.criminalelement.com/edgar...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kellie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. (first of the Debra Knott series) This book sucked. It dragged and the ending was poor. Debra is running for judge. But in the mean time, one of her ex-lovers daughters asks her to find out who killed her mother. So, between campaign events, Knott is talking to different people to try and figure it out. The story is kind of odd. Janie, the mother who died, gets mixed up with 2 lesbians. And then decides to prove to herself, she doesn’t have lesbian tendancies. By doing that, she tries to seduce (first of the Debra Knott series) This book sucked. It dragged and the ending was poor. Debra is running for judge. But in the mean time, one of her ex-lovers daughters asks her to find out who killed her mother. So, between campaign events, Knott is talking to different people to try and figure it out. The story is kind of odd. Janie, the mother who died, gets mixed up with 2 lesbians. And then decides to prove to herself, she doesn’t have lesbian tendancies. By doing that, she tries to seduce Michael, a homosexual. He ends up killing her really by accident and then his mother finishes her off. After all these years, Michaels lover, Denn, knows about Michael killing Janie. Michaels mother tries to kill Denn and ends up shooting Michael by accident. Then she kills Denn. The series of events is kind of confusing and the ending seems too abrupt. I’m hoping her others get better. Uncommon Clay wasn’t too bad.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Yay! I found another author that I absolutely love. Margaret Maron's character Deborah Knott is smart, funny and accomplished. It doesn't matter that she is the daughter of a bootlegger-she is going places. This book practically read itself-I am hooked and already have book #2 of this series on hold.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Margaret Maron's Deborah Knott books take me to home to North Carolina

  16. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    Exceptionally well written mystery - defines the term 'page turner'. So happy there are more in the series!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Pickstone

    A very good read, excellently constructed and with sharp characterisation all round!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    3.5 out of 5. Deborah Knott is a lawyer in a small town in North Carolina. Sick of the racist and sexist judges she pleads cases in front of, she decides to run for judge herself. Simultaneously, the teen-aged daughter of someone Deborah used to date reaches out to have her help find the person who murdered her mother years ago. And, we're off into the deep-rooted and often twisted relationships of a small town, where people have lived for generations, have intermarried (and divorced), and where 3.5 out of 5. Deborah Knott is a lawyer in a small town in North Carolina. Sick of the racist and sexist judges she pleads cases in front of, she decides to run for judge herself. Simultaneously, the teen-aged daughter of someone Deborah used to date reaches out to have her help find the person who murdered her mother years ago. And, we're off into the deep-rooted and often twisted relationships of a small town, where people have lived for generations, have intermarried (and divorced), and where everyone knows (almost) everything about everyone else. Maron gets the atmospherics of small-town Carolina just right: she probably grew up in one herself. From the details of what's served at a pig pickin' to the ubiquitous use of tobacco back in the '70s, to how women dressed for success then, she's nailed it. An absorbing mystery and the first of many in this series. I look forward to reading more.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kristie Casanova

    I read this to satisfy the category of "book about a hobby" for the 2019 Popsugar reading challenge. I don't know why it showed up on a list of books about hobbies, other than that somebody assumed the title was indicative of the story. That was definitely not the case. The story itself was fine. It's dated and southern, so it definitely represents different views of race and lgbtq+ issues. I did, on the other hand, get exposure to several southern regional expressions I wouldn't know otherwise I read this to satisfy the category of "book about a hobby" for the 2019 Popsugar reading challenge. I don't know why it showed up on a list of books about hobbies, other than that somebody assumed the title was indicative of the story. That was definitely not the case. The story itself was fine. It's dated and southern, so it definitely represents different views of race and lgbtq+ issues. I did, on the other hand, get exposure to several southern regional expressions I wouldn't know otherwise (ex: round in the heels), so there's that. In short, I wouldn't recommend it but I wasn't mad I read it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stef Rozitis

    So I gave 5 stars to a detective story where the detective is a white, wealthy, heterosexual woman. I thought I would point that out in case my criticisms of some of the other stories I gave one or two stars to this year were wrongly taken as me not wanting to ever read about privileged characters. Far from it. What set Deborah Knott apart from all the shallow chick-lit heroines of modern detective stories was a few things like her real and complex intelligence (not just puzzle solving skills but So I gave 5 stars to a detective story where the detective is a white, wealthy, heterosexual woman. I thought I would point that out in case my criticisms of some of the other stories I gave one or two stars to this year were wrongly taken as me not wanting to ever read about privileged characters. Far from it. What set Deborah Knott apart from all the shallow chick-lit heroines of modern detective stories was a few things like her real and complex intelligence (not just puzzle solving skills but interesting blend of sarcasm, suspicious nature, relational thinking, reflexivity, knowledge and logic), and her moral depth (she is driven by a perception of injustice to want to be a judge and she is idealistic throughout a complex plot with diverse characters that challenge and call into question many of her values). But more than this the characters around her were likeable. I liked many of the characters, when I didn't like them I wasn't expected to. There were plenty of flaws and ambiguities but it was all woven together a lot better than just self-interested types and insecure door-mats. People were a blend of many different motivations and idiosyncrasies most of which were not immediately apparent to us. I was surprised to find that the very heterosexual and openly quite religious Deborah was someone I related to so warmly. When she has a tiny flirtation at one point in the book I found myself wanting it to go further until the guy ruined it by saying something sexist, but I am ok with the possibility she might date one of the characters from the book down the track. They were not too annoying and her attitude to them was nice and assertive. I loved the way various couples (functional and dysfunctional) were portrayed in the book- the idea of human sexuality was neither oversimplified nor were we allowed an overly voyeuristic role in it all. The religiosity in the book managed to be ambivalent and questioning as did the relationship to authority and law. I didn't like the ending (perhaps the last five pages) but I can accept it without deducting a star. The answer to the murder itself was great as were the characters and I intend to read more of Deborah Knott's adventures ASAP.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rona

    This book has a compelling mystery, with lots of misdirection. It is the first book in the series, so we are just meeting this town and these people. I like the people. I like the place. I'll read more Margaret Maron.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Fischman

    Re-reading this book after many years for the Somerville Public Library's Mystery Book Club, I was struck by how Margaret Maron created a setting that was entirely real from the first page onward. The town and the county where attorney Deborah Knott lives are populated with her friends, foes, family, and connections through her profession and her politics, and you get a sense that the author didn't create them but discovered them, fully formed. The mystery was a deeply sad reflection of its time, Re-reading this book after many years for the Somerville Public Library's Mystery Book Club, I was struck by how Margaret Maron created a setting that was entirely real from the first page onward. The town and the county where attorney Deborah Knott lives are populated with her friends, foes, family, and connections through her profession and her politics, and you get a sense that the author didn't create them but discovered them, fully formed. The mystery was a deeply sad reflection of its time, and I certainly hope that it would not happen today--but I may be too optimistic. The twists and turns of the plot might be obvious to you if you're a good detective. On second reading, I could see them coming. You will still enjoy the book, however, if you like good writing and a strong heroine with a wry sense of humor. And if you do like it, you're in luck, because there are seventeen more!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mary Newcomb

    Thanks to my friend Linda, I have been introduced to Deborah Knott and her friends and family. She is an attorney in Colleton County, North Carolina aspiring to become a Judge. In the midst of the campaign she is asked to look into a mysterious death from 18 years ago. She does, indeed, solve it all. There are 19 more books in this series, I have some reading to do!

  24. 5 out of 5

    C.

    The cover and title of “The Bootlegger's Daughter” halted my interest. Margaret Maron is so celebrated among mystery echelons, whose series sails well past 1992; it was time to sample it. Who wouldn’t want to know why a woman was deceased beside her baby? Whose heart wouldn’t cheer on the answer, at the beseeching of this child who has grown to be eighteen? Although I believe in equal sentience, not liking to hear about pigs roasted; the mystery developed well, with southern personalities that a The cover and title of “The Bootlegger's Daughter” halted my interest. Margaret Maron is so celebrated among mystery echelons, whose series sails well past 1992; it was time to sample it. Who wouldn’t want to know why a woman was deceased beside her baby? Whose heart wouldn’t cheer on the answer, at the beseeching of this child who has grown to be eighteen? Although I believe in equal sentience, not liking to hear about pigs roasted; the mystery developed well, with southern personalities that are easily pictured. The heroine is Deborah Knott, with numerous layers that explain why she pushes to become a judge against the grain of her farming, male-dominated family. She babysat the infant as a teenager and is acquainted with everyone in their town. It’s compelling to wonder how to solve this case, if clues were scarce when Janie Whitehead was killed. Deborah is no sleuth but a lawyer with connections, who adores young Gayle Whitehead. I loved Margaret’s skill, humour, and personal touch. I will eagerly read her succeeding work, which will assuredly rank higher. Two parts struck discord, pertaining to preposterous, unrealistic behaviour of the pottery owner’s partner. If a child asks to see where her loved-one perished, no one would hesitate to grant such a request! No partner would react so awfully when the owner agreed, nor do we shoot anybody because we had a quarrel! This sank the novel to four stars by itself. I admired Margaret’s gift for large segues, with intimate descriptions of people who seem tertiary. We don't mind because her delivery is one-on-one. These people do become applicable and her thoroughness has us understand everything. Her chatty, colourful detours are as enjoyable as her mystery. I noticed that each time old queries were posed, we acquainted present people differently.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Randee Baty

    This mystery has what many of the ones I've been reading lately have missed. Atmosphere, a mystery as the central part of the plot, and heart. Those things seem to be in short supply these days. Deborah Knott is a southern attorney and decides that she wants to run for judge. Her father is the bootlegger in the title, obviously, which has interesting connotations for a law-and-order citizen like Deborah. A friend of Deborah's asks for Deborah's help to solve the 20 year old murder of the friend's This mystery has what many of the ones I've been reading lately have missed. Atmosphere, a mystery as the central part of the plot, and heart. Those things seem to be in short supply these days. Deborah Knott is a southern attorney and decides that she wants to run for judge. Her father is the bootlegger in the title, obviously, which has interesting connotations for a law-and-order citizen like Deborah. A friend of Deborah's asks for Deborah's help to solve the 20 year old murder of the friend's mother. Dredging up an old murder in the middle of a political campaign in a small southern town causes havoc in the lives of everyone involved. I've read a number of mysteries lately where the mystery felt like it was secondary to something else the author wanted to say. In that case, don't call it a mystery. In this book, the mystery is front and center and it's clever. I'm sure it's possible to solve it before Deborah does but I didn't. The warm damp southern atmosphere is also a star in this book. Atmosphere is key to me. The more I'm lost in the place I'm reading about, the better. Deborah's big extended family are a pleasure to get to know. If you grew up with a big family or anywhere near the south this will feel very familiar to you. If you didn't, you'll enjoy getting to know the Knotts. Margaret Maron reminds me of the Golden Age of mystery writers like Christie and Sayers. Not in style, but in the sense that the mystery is all-important. It's surrounded by a great setting, deep characters and superb writing but the mystery is still the center of the book. I'm moving on to book 2 as soon as I can get ahold of it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jerry B

    Far more development than "Sigrid", classic Maron... We have opined here and elsewhere that Margaret Maron is a fine enough writer to convey just about whatever mood, ideas, or setting she wishes. Despite that skill, her eight Sigrid Harald mysteries are a little dry -- skillful plots and good detective work seem to hold one's attention, but the entertainment factor is a little low. All that goes away with the 1992 debut of rural North Carolina's attorney (and judge wannabe) Deborah Knott. From Far more development than "Sigrid", classic Maron... We have opined here and elsewhere that Margaret Maron is a fine enough writer to convey just about whatever mood, ideas, or setting she wishes. Despite that skill, her eight Sigrid Harald mysteries are a little dry -- skillful plots and good detective work seem to hold one's attention, but the entertainment factor is a little low. All that goes away with the 1992 debut of rural North Carolina's attorney (and judge wannabe) Deborah Knott. From lengthy settings on the farm, gone fishin', even in court, we get a real flavor of the locale and the people appearing herein. And our new leading lady gives us plenty to like as she not only toils to solve an 18-year old murder (shades of Lee Harris' Christine Bennett), but also rails a bit against the local magistrates and decides to run for district judge herself. The plot is fairly compelling, with a nice prequel to set the stage, and then the mainline occuring two decades later. Before it's all over, two more murders lead to a fairly surprising ending, and one that not everybody may like real well. Along the way we get brief exposés on blacks in the south and gays in bible belt territory (even Deborah seems to have a pretty good stable of verses memorized which she hauls out from time to time). It's clear from the rest of the series that Knott gets her judgeship, and I for one look forward to see how that transition goes. As for "Judging Deborah", a thumbs up so far!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    My first Margaret Maron mystery, and I loved it. Its a series set in North Carolina, with lots of "good old boys" and Southern sass, and a judge(Deborah Knott)that can keep up with all of them, smart, sassy, and strong. I'm reading the second book now, Southern Discomfort and enjoying it as much as the first book. Ms. Maron has a way with words, and a gifted storyteller. From Amazon: Deborah Knott was expected to be a conventional little girl and eventually a conventional woman, worshipped on a p My first Margaret Maron mystery, and I loved it. Its a series set in North Carolina, with lots of "good old boys" and Southern sass, and a judge(Deborah Knott)that can keep up with all of them, smart, sassy, and strong. I'm reading the second book now, Southern Discomfort and enjoying it as much as the first book. Ms. Maron has a way with words, and a gifted storyteller. From Amazon: Deborah Knott was expected to be a conventional little girl and eventually a conventional woman, worshipped on a pedestal by a conventional husband. Instead, she became an attorney, infiltrating the old boy network that still rules the tobacco country of Colleton County, North Carolina. Some say her success is a sign of the New South, but no one knows better than she the power of the past—her family’s long history in the area is a major asset in her campaign for district judge. Then again, as the strong-willed daughter of Kezzie Knott—notorious bootlegger, ex-con, and political string-puller—history is also one of her greatest problems. But it’s an episode from the more recent past that threatens to derail her campaign. As a teen, Deborah used to babysit little Gayle Whitehead for her mother, Janie. One rainy spring day eighteen years ago, both mother and daughter disappeared. When they were found three days later Gayle was dehydrated, dirty, and hungry...and Janie was dead. The unsolved murder became a local legend and an enigma that continues to haunt Gayle, who now begs Deborah to investigate.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    This is book one in a series about attorney Deborah Knott, the daughter of an infamous North Carolina bootlegger. The book is supposed to mix a murder mystery and Southern politics together in a story. Knott is campaigning for a district court judgeship when an eighteen year old girl asks her to investigate the unsolved murder of her mother. This is a cold case as the murder took place about seventeen years ago. I learned a new expression in this story. The author used the term “yellow dog democ This is book one in a series about attorney Deborah Knott, the daughter of an infamous North Carolina bootlegger. The book is supposed to mix a murder mystery and Southern politics together in a story. Knott is campaigning for a district court judgeship when an eighteen year old girl asks her to investigate the unsolved murder of her mother. This is a cold case as the murder took place about seventeen years ago. I learned a new expression in this story. The author used the term “yellow dog democrat”; I had never heard of this term before so looked it up. Apparently it came about as a term used in the South in the late 19th century, to refer to a person who voted the straight democratic ticket saying I would rather vote for a yellow dog than a republican. I also learned that yellow dog is a breed of dogs called Carolina dog that is indigenous to the Carolinas and not descended from Eurasian breeds. Maron is building the characters for her series so the book seems to move slowly but flows smoothly. The book is well written but light on suspense. Some humor occurs with the battle with the good ole boys’ networks. The book won the Edgar award in 1992 and also won the Diys, Macovity and Anthony awards. This is the first book I have read by this author so I am in the process of getting to know her writing. I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. C. J. Critt does a good job narrating the book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (Harmonybites)

    A blurb inside by mystery writer Loren Estelman compared Maron to Flannery O'Connor, Hemingway and Faulkner. Another described the protagonist and first person narrator, Dorothy Knott, as Scout of To Kill a Mockingbird, all grown up. I don't think this book is in that league at all. Yes, this is set in the American South, in North Carolina, and the author is good at choosing and using details to evoke that setting and in reproducing the rhythms of speech of that region. But all in all I'd say th A blurb inside by mystery writer Loren Estelman compared Maron to Flannery O'Connor, Hemingway and Faulkner. Another described the protagonist and first person narrator, Dorothy Knott, as Scout of To Kill a Mockingbird, all grown up. I don't think this book is in that league at all. Yes, this is set in the American South, in North Carolina, and the author is good at choosing and using details to evoke that setting and in reproducing the rhythms of speech of that region. But all in all I'd say this is just a good, solid mystery. If you're in the mood for what many call a "cozy mystery"--set in a small town, rather PG-13 in rating without graphic violence or sex, this might well scratch that itch. I found Knott likable, even with the handicap of her irking me with the usual jibes against Republicans (she's running for district judge as a Democrat in the book). I warmed to her and most of the cast of characters the farther I got into the book--I particularly liked her father and the love interest. The problem is I never had a twinge of writer's envy, or found anything quotable, didn't find this thought-provoking or moving or unpredictable--in other words, I doubt I'll remember a thing about this book a year from now and I can't imagine ever rereading it. So not a keeper, but an entertaining read if you're fond of mysteries.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sg.00 macc

    interesting 1st book in the series ~ a Southern spin on a female sleuth tale.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.