Attorney Deborah Knott is running for district judge in good-old-boy-ruled Colleton County, N.D.
I think the Judge Deborah Knott series in general is readable but uneven. And, if you are looking for a fast-paced mystery thriller, this might not be the right choice. However, this book stands well on its own as an excellent novel, engaging, complex, and beautifully written. It's one of the few mystery novels I've read more than once.
Bootlegger's Daughter will appeal to those readers that like real life locales with a cozy Southern setting. This is despite dealing with issues such as homosexuality, race and politics. There is little gratuitous violence or sex.
The issue that I took with this novel is that it took to the middle of the book to get to the mystery proper. The plot seemed to noodle along. There was not so much as a hint dropped or earnest sleuthing until the middle. It seemed too caught up in local color.
In the novel's favor once the plot started to move it was interesting and finally the hints were dropped. The myriad suspects were not let off the hook until the last chapter or until they were eliminated(i.e. killed off). This kept me up reading the book to the finish.
The book has 3 and 1/2 stars.
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!
Deborah is a likeable protagonist and there is a strong sense of the importance and value of close familial ties.The changing face of the South in which attitudes to homosexuality and race are being re-evaluated provide an undercurrent to the development of the plot
I am more in favour of the hardboiled and street wise crime novel but Ms Maron has created an engaging and personable character and a series that is likely to prove to be a quiet pleasure Warmth is not a characteristic one finds regularly in the crime novel but it is present here in abundance,and for that reason alone I will stick with the series and urge lovers of the
"soft boiled"crime novel to give the Deborah Knott a try