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Southern Discomfort Paperback – Apr 6 1995


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Paperback, Apr 6 1995
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Book Publishing (April 6 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747246521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747246527
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 11 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,068,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

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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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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The changing North Carolina landscape provides a setting for murder in Margaret Maron's Judge Deborah Knott series. Southern Discomfort brings Deborah back for her second appearance after being introduced in Bootlegger's Daughter where she balances roles as lawyer/daughter/sister/aunt/ and now judge as she struggles to address issues like overdevelopment in her much loved home. Backyard barbecues, church, home, and family--the backbone of Southern culture--provide the backdrop for another haunting tale. As Bootlegger's Daughter closes Deborah has become a district judge and in Southern Discomfort she is delivering on a commitment to provide housing for battered women. After her niece is assaulted at a building site her attacker is murdered, and Deborah finds herself investigating murder in the family when her niece becomes the murder suspect. Maron's plot device of "prgamatist" v. "preacher," her personal chatterbox, is delightful as she struggles to explore both sides of issues, an important characteristic for a judge. When Maron began the Deborah Knott series after a long career with Sigrid Harald in New York, she emerged from a good writer to a great one, as demonstrated in Agatha, Anthony, and Edgar awards for Bootlegger's Daughter. Maron has borrowed from her Southern roots to create a strong woman of the South in a giant of a mystery. The mystery as morality play, the struggle between good and evil, is nowhere better played than in America's genteel South.
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