on June 6, 1998
I've read each of Maron's books at least three times; the first time to read the story, and afterwards for the pleasure of visiting her characters AND rereading the story. Her scenario does not pall because you now know the ending. I've been reading mysteries for 50 years, starting with Nancy Drew, and I didn't think any writer could come up with a denouement that I hadn't figured out. Maron has surprised me every single time. And her protagonist, Lt. Sigrid Harald, plus all the secondary characters (like Sigrid's sidekick, Detective Tilden--who figures largely in "The Right Jack") are so 3-dimensional that they become valued friends. Maron's other strengths include writing well (and grammatically) so that you are not irritated in that vein. She is only a step behind Thomas Perry and Nicholas Blake in sheer writing talent, but ahead of everyone in writing a mystery with a guaranteed surprise ending that is fair and legitimate. As you gasp at the solution, you realize there are many clues sprinkled throughout the preceding pages. I found her talent for writing mysteries superior to Christie, Sayers, Rendall, James, and even Tey! I also recommend her Judge Deborah Knott mysteries; they are equally superb.