Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Guest Blog - Hard Row by Margaret Maron

Hard Row came as a bit of surprise to me. I thought that I did a fairly good job of keeping up with the latest books by some of my favorite mystery writers. I don't know how I missed this one by Margaret Maron. It was actually published in 2007. It is a Judge Deborah Knott mystery. She is recently married to Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant with his son a part of their family. On the domestic side Knott is cautiously feeling her way through her new role as a stepmother but loving being married to Dwight. On the legal side, there are still lots of glimpses into the crazy cases brought before Judge Knott.

I think I liked Hard Row more than any of Maron's other mysteries set in North Carolina. This time we got to see the information not just from Knott's view but also from her partner in life and crime solving, Dwight Bryant. In the past Knott has been a bit of a pain, sticking her nose in where it really didn't belong. Now their partnership makes a logical and complete working relationship. They pool their information and find the killer who cut up a body and distributed the parts along the banks of the river.

You don't have to have read other books about Deborah Knott to enjoy this one, but it does make it a bit easier if you have already been introduced to her extensive family and bootlegging father. Maron does a good job of filling in the gaps though if you are a first time reader of her mysteries.

The first Margaret Maron I read was located in New York City with Sigrid Harald, a police officer. I met her in Corpus Christmas and really liked this heroine. I wasn't sure whether I would like the Knott mysteries but am well hooked. There are two more recent books out there that I have not yet read. I'll be looking for them so that I can catch up the the Knott-Bryant saga and a good mystery.

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