by Margaret Maron
Publishers Weekly Bestseller Maron's 20th Deborah Knott mystery (after 2014's Designated Daughters) combines strong plotting, a superb cast of recurring characters, and a rare sense of place that transports readers to rural North Carolina. District court judge Deborah and the huge Knott clan headed by Deborah's father, reformed bootlegger Kezzie Knott, become involved in a murder investigation when Kezzie finds Vick Earp bludgeoned to death on the family farm. Vick and his Earp relatives have had an ongoing feud with the Knotts. When Deborah's lawman husband, Dwight Bryant, is appointed lead investigator, the victim's uncle, Joby Earp, is quick to stir up charges of favoritism. Providing counterpoint to the murder case is the backstory of Deborah's mother, Sue Stephenson, and Sue's relationship with the mysterious Capt. Walter Raynesford McIntyre, of the U.S. Army Air Corps, whom she meets in 1943 at a USO club. It all adds up to another sparkling chapter of the Knott family saga. Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Library Journal Maron's newest entry in her long-running "Judge Knott" series (Designated Daughters) begins with Deborah's father, Kezzie, finding a man beaten to death on his land. The judge's husband, who is second in command at the sheriff's department, investigates and discovers that Kezzie had a history with the victim, Vick Earp, that goes back to moonshining days. Deborah starts digging around to learn more about her parents. VERDICT Sprinkled with the low-country vernacular and the wonderful characters of Colleton County, NC, this title is a worthy addition to Maron's series. Readers of Southern mysteries will find much to adore. [See Prepub Alert, 2/23/15.]-Kristen Stewart, Pearland Lib., -Brazoria Cty. Lib. Syst., TX © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list In the twentieth entry in her series featuring Deborah Knott (after Designated Daughters, 2014), Maron proves as adept as ever at melding a central mystery with an involving family story. When Deborah's father, Kezzie, stumbles on a dead body located on the furthest reaches of his North Carolina farm, Deborah's husband, Deputy Dwight Bryant, is tasked with finding out who beat the man to death. It turns out, however, that the victim has long had it out for Kezzie Knott, believing that Kezzie swindled his family out of their land, and the local newspaper implies that the Knotts might be behind the crime and receiving favorable treatment due to their connections with the sheriff's office. Interspersed with the investigation are chapters detailing the charming backstory of Kezzie's courtship of Deborah's mother, revealing how the college-educated daughter of a wealthy town family got involved with a grizzled old bootlegger from the country. Maron emphasizes the close relationships of Deborah's extended family and the way their rural lifestyle connects them to the land, which makes for an especially heartwarming read.--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2015 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.