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Southern Discomfort [Mass Market Paperback]

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

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Book Description

June 1 1994 Deborah Knott Mysteries
The heroine of Bootlegger's Daughter returns. Deborah Knott, a newly-appointed District Judge, is making good on a campaign promise by helping to build houses for battered women. But instead of muscle aches, she gets murder--and her fingerprints are on the murder weapon.

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Product Description

From Library Journal

New lady judge Deborah Knott ( Bootlegger's Daughter ) threads her way through the intricacies of district court in a small North Carolina town where familial connections abound. Murder rears its ugly head only after shared family stories and relationships establish a stylistic context. Employing her intimate knowledge of the place, Knott discovers who assaulted her teenage niece and killed a randy building inspector inside an unfinished WomenAid house. Cleverly told, with a homey atmosphere, this is ripe for a sequel.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The perfect mystery Aug. 10 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like mysteries. It was one of the books that I could not lay down. I would recommend the book to anyone
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you've read Ms. Maron's 8-book Sigrid Harald series, you might well wonder if this is indeed the same author who has now given us (a coincidence?) 8 more in the Judge Deborah Knott collection. Sigrid is a straight-laced NYC detective whose psyche just starts to unfold by the end of the set. The stories focus on the crime (usually a murder in chapter one) and the police procedures involved in catching the crook. Little is done to reveal the characters, provide setting changes, etc., a technique we've referred to before as "minimalist".
Enter Ms. Knott -- in Southern Discomfort, the second book of the set, it's a third of the book before anything really wrong happens. Even then, the crime and the perpetrator are uncovered almost more through circumstance than direct intent. Rather, we have a rich fabric of family relationships, single woman issues, feminist issues, mild religious and race issues, interwoven with light suspense over what happened and "whodunit". Along the way, we get a sampling of the court cases Knott is hearing as the newest District Court Judge. Here again, much is revealed of her character and philosophy through what she says and thinks while handling her judgments and sentencings. Moreover, many of Maron's readers report finding her descriptions of rural North Carolina as outright travelogues, superior to books written with that intent.
We've always thought Maron to be a talented and gifted writer, and her hand is revealed to a tee so far in these two books about Knott. For our taste, a little more plot complexity (actually, maybe intensity is a better word) and a little less "down home" chit chat amongst the family would move these right up to the 5-star class! Meanwhile, we're on to #3...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Praise for Margaret Maron! Oct. 31 2001
Format:Hardcover
Although this is the second book in this series, it is the first by this author that I have read, and I enjoyed this book immensely. I'm not sure what it was that made it different than other books of this genre, but it was. In this novel, Deborah Knott (who is the only girl in a large family of boys) is sworn in as a judge, her brother is poisoned, her neice is assaulted, and neighborhood dogs are disappearing. We follow her through her days in court as well as her personal life, family life, etc. She is realistic, down-to-earth, and very easy to like. The author does a great job of making Deborah a part of the story without singling her out as the protagonist. It's almost as if all the characters in the book get equal billing, making it all the more believable. The parts I liked best is whenever Deborah has a thought that may or may not be correct or might be a moral dilemma of some kind, there is an argument in her head between two voices--the preacher and the pragmatist--but are not overdone and are usually only a sentence or two. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a series that is light, yet believable, with likable characters.
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