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Home Fires [Mass Market Paperback]

Margaret Maron
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1 2000 Deborah Knott Mysteries
If there's truly such a thing as an American "cozy,"Margaret Maron's novels of the contemporary South fit the bill. Not that DeborahKnott, the sexy, smart young district court judge whose extended family of 10siblings, a curmudgeonly father who used to be a moonshiner, anduncles, aunts, nephews, and nieces too numerous to count, bears anyresemblance to the maiden ladies of that beloved British genre. But like herEnglish counterparts, Maron eschews blood and gore, and concentratesinstead on manners, mores, and motives. And she has few equals on either sideof the Atlantic; she weaves telling portraits of ordinary people coping with out-of-the-ordinary circumstances, often in less thana couple of sentences, and tells the whole history of a landscape and a wayof life in one short paragraph. In this tradition, Home Fires delineates the remnants of prejudice that linger like an indeliblestain on the fabric of race relations in mostly rural Colleton County,North Carolina. When Deborah's family calls on her to help her teenagenephew, who's accused of vandalizing a family cemetery with racialepithets and hate slogans, she butts heads with an angry, aggressive, blackfemale D.A., a charismatic preacher, and an activist and former Black Pantherwhose closet full of skeletons seems linked to the church arsons. As theplot unfolds, Maron brings the New South into focus, illuminating notonly its physical beauty and the complexity of its inhabitants but also thechanges and problems caused by integration. Deborah is a steel magnoliawhose own fires smolder sexily in scenes with Kidd, her lover, and whose ownvalues and beliefs come in for a penetrating reexamination in this newestin the popular series from Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, and MacavityAward-winning author Maron. --Jane Adams

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From Amazon

If there's truly such a thing as an American "cozy," Margaret Maron's novels of the contemporary South fit the bill. Not that Deborah Knott, the sexy, smart young district court judge whose extended family of 10 siblings, a curmudgeonly father who used to be a moonshiner, and uncles, aunts, nephews, and nieces too numerous to count, bears any resemblance to the maiden ladies of that beloved British genre. But like her English counterparts, Maron eschews blood and gore, and concentrates instead on manners, mores, and motives. And she has few equals on either side of the Atlantic; she weaves telling portraits of ordinary people coping with out-of-the-ordinary circumstances, often in less than a couple of sentences, and tells the whole history of a landscape and a way of life in one short paragraph. In this tradition, Home Fires delineates the remnants of prejudice that linger like an indelible stain on the fabric of race relations in mostly rural Colleton County, North Carolina. When Deborah's family calls on her to help her teenage nephew, who's accused of vandalizing a family cemetery with racial epithets and hate slogans, she butts heads with an angry, aggressive, black female D.A., a charismatic preacher, and an activist and former Black Panther whose closet full of skeletons seems linked to the church arsons. As the plot unfolds, Maron brings the New South into focus, illuminating not only its physical beauty and the complexity of its inhabitants but also the changes and problems caused by integration. Deborah is a steel magnolia whose own fires smolder sexily in scenes with Kidd, her lover, and whose own values and beliefs come in for a penetrating reexamination in this newest in the popular series from Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Award-winning author Maron. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Maron's series featuring North Carolina Circuit Court Judge Deborah Knott got off to a great start when the launch novel, Bootlegger's Daughter (1992), swept the Edgar, the Macavity and the Anthony awards for best novel. The series is notable for the smooth way Maron blends the distinctively Southern charms of Deborah's vast extended family with engrossing plots and an intelligentAbut not heavy-handedAconsideration of social issues. In this sixth outing, Maron skillfully incorporates the changes and problems that integration has brought to the New South. Deborah, who narrates, is at the start of a reelection campaign when a nephew is arrested, with two friends, for desecrating a cemetery. When the same spraypainted graffiti appears at an African American church that's been torched, the young men are suspected of arson. Two more black churches are burned and two bodies uncovered before Deborah fingers the culprit. In a separate plotline, the fate of a young civil rights worker, missing for more than 20 years, is brought to light. Both solutions come a bit too easily, although the identity of the arsonist may surprise readers. Maron lays the groundwork with subtlety, however, and she brings much more depth to her portrait of small-town doings than do most mystery writers. Deborah, who dubs her competing inner voices "the preacher" and "the pragmatist," is a wholly engaging blend of country comfort and New South sophistication. Major ad/promo; Mystery Guild main selection. (Dec.) FYI: Mysterious will publish a mass market edition of the previous Deborah Knott mystery, Killer Market.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A regional who-done-it beyond compare Nov. 24 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Judge Deborah Knott is seeing her lover when she receives the call from her brother Andrew that her nephew A.K. is in trouble with the law for desecrating gravestones at a nearby cemetery. A.K. and two of his buddies spray painted racial slurs on the graves of African-Americans.

Shortly after the arrest, a black church is burned with the graffiti being identical to that of the cemetery. The police believe the three teens did the act. Deborah, who is running for reelection in Colleton County, North Carolina, begins her own investigation. However, two more churches are torched and two corpses are found. If Deborah does not uncover the culprit soon, a race war may engulf her beloved hometown.

Award winning Margaret Maron returns with her sixth Knott regional who-done-it. HOME FIRES is a brilliant, in-depth portrayal of the modern south with its pressing social issues. The characters are well defined and though the mystery is relatively simplistic, the novel is another winner. This series and Ms. Maron's Sigrid Harald tales are all worth reading as they demonstrate just why the author is a multi-award winner.

Harriet Klausner
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2.0 out of 5 stars HOME FIRES NOT FOR ME!!!! March 29 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Guess I am by my self but I did not care much for Home Fires. I have read five other books in this series and liked them all. I could just not get into Home Fires. Deborah's nephew, A.K., is caught turning over headstones in a cemetery, then a black church is torched and a body found in the ashes. Was A.K. involved is this too? It seems to me that a big part of the book was spent in talking about Deborah's family. I stayed so confused over whose child was whose and which brother was the 4th born or 2nd born or the third one up from her that I just never got into liking the book. Would recommend skipping this one if you are reading the series.
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By SF Dawn
Format:Hardcover
The Walters, long time owners of the now finacially troubled mill, are looking for a buyer. The community splits over the sale of the mill to a big-city investors. What will happen to the millworker's jobs if the sale goes through? But what if it doesn't? And what about the recent rash of peculiar fires? Is there a shady conntection between the fires and the mill buyout, or is something else fueling these mysterious blazes? In "Home Fires", Margaret Maron again delivers a vividly realistic, enticingly suspensful mystery. A sure-fire way to please the mystery book lover on your holiday list!
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