Thursday, December 11, 2008

Guest Blog - Death's Half Acre

Since I started reading the Hardy Boys and the Dana Girls mysteries when I was about 11 years old, I have been hooked on the genre. Christmas stories of any type always appeal to me. The first Margaret Maron novel that I read was a Sigrid Harald story, Corpus Christmas. Harald is a New York City police officer. I liked Harald and tried to find more novels about her. However, when I first saw Bootlegger’s Daughter about Deborah Knott living in North Carolina, I was not really interested. An attorney in a small town in North Carolina. Hmmm. I am both a Westerner and a Northerner. Was I interested in reading about someone in the rural south? Finally I gave in and read the first of many Deborah Knott mysteries.

I just finished Death’s Half Acre, the latest of Maron’s books about Judge Knott. As I read it I realized that it might be difficult to read this book without some background on the Knott family despite the fact that a family tree has been included at the front of this book; however, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the latest antics in the lives of Deborah’s huge extended family. I noticed that on her website Maron expresses concern about new readers picking up a book in the middle of the series. Maron’s books are always populated with interesting characters. This book is no exception. In fact at times, I wondered whether I could keep up with all of the characters in the novel. Would I recognize the murderer when I got to the last chapter? Maron played the game entirely straight. I had all of the information in front of me and I still did not know who it was who shot Deborah in the arm in one of the final chapters. When all was disclosed, all I could say was, “Why didn’t I see this?”

Needless to say, I am looking forward to reading Maron's new book Sand Shark in 2009.

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