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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.
Maron's ( Past Imperfect ) series launch introduces attorney Deborah Knott, the daughter of an infamous North Carolina bootlegger, in an atmospheric adventure mixing Southern politics and a mysterious killing'unsolved murder' in next sentence . While Deb campaigns for a district court judgeship, 18-year-old Gayle Whitehead asks her to investigate the unsolved murder of her mother, Janie, which took place when Gayle was an infant. The girl wants Deb, who knows the locals of Cotton Grove, to ask around and see if she can find clues the police might have missed. Deb visits Michael Vickery, the gay son of Cotton Grove's retired doctor and owner of the property where Janie's body was found. She discovers long-kept secrets, learning that Janie had a roving eye and that a lesbian friend and her lover had made overtures to Janie a week before the murder.sentence ok?see my revisions yes, fine But not until another death occurs does Deb begin to close in on the truth. Filled with good-ole-boy patter and detailed local color, the story flows smoothly, and if it lacks suspense, Maron's appealing characterizations and her knowing eye for family relationships more than compensate. Mystery Guild alternate; author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
I really enjoyed this 1st of the Deborah Knott series. I was guessing right up until the end. Margaret Maron had me right there (actually, I am anyway)in rural North... Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2004
Great continuance of the author's southern writing style!Published on Aug. 13 2002 by Sharon Shires
Margaret Maron is a witty and humorous writer and has done a great job with this first book in the Deborah Knott series. Read morePublished on Dec 11 2001 by "bibliofiend"
The character introduced here, Judge Deborah Knott, has been justifiably lauded for being one of the best-developed characters in this kind of mystery fiction. Read morePublished on March 31 2001 by frumiousb
I truly enjoyed the book until the last two pages. I did not want to put it down when I started reading it. Deborah Knott is ans attorney running for district judge. Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2001 by Mac Blair
Maron transports you to small-town North Carolina and introduces you around to some of the best developed characters in mystery fiction. Read morePublished on Nov. 25 2000 by Christina P. Branson
Being an avid reader, particularly of mysteries/detective stories, I was amazed when I accidentally discovered Margaret Maron, who has been right under my nose here in North... Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2000
This is a great book. The author won numerous prizes for this book and I can see why. For Deborah Knott there is a decades old mystery to solve, an election campaign to fight,... Read morePublished on May 26 2000 by Helen