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Southern Discomfort
     

Southern Discomfort

4.2 5
by Margaret Maron
 

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Deborah Knott may have lost the district election, but a bigoted judge's sudden death--and some old-fashioned political horse trading--have won her a governor's appointment. True to Southern form, her swearing-in is followed by a raucous reception that brings out every elderly aunt and cousin in the county.

Unfortunately, Lu Bingham, the force behind

Overview

Deborah Knott may have lost the district election, but a bigoted judge's sudden death--and some old-fashioned political horse trading--have won her a governor's appointment. True to Southern form, her swearing-in is followed by a raucous reception that brings out every elderly aunt and cousin in the county.

Unfortunately, Lu Bingham, the force behind WomenAid, is at the reception, too. Not only has she come to collect the leftovers for her daycare center, but she's also there to collect on one of Deborah's more extravagant campaign promises. Before Deborah can say, "If elected..." she is committed to putting her muscle where her mouth was, spending weekends with an all-woman crew as the group attempts to build its first house for a needy single mom.

Chaos erupts before the house is even half-finished. On the same rainy summer night that one of her many older brothers collapses on the side of the road from an apparent heart attack, his daughter is found battered and half-naked in the deserted structure. Has she been raped? Who left her in that condition? And whose blood is that on Deborah's own hammer?

Dwight Bryant, an old childhood friend (and a bit of a good ol' boy), is a modern and efficient police detective, but it is Deborah who must judge whether dark secrets in her own family have led to murder. And if so, reveal the darker more troubling reasons why.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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." -- Library Journal (1993)
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.
Emily Melton
Deborah Knott has just become a District Court judge in Colleton County, North Carolina, and her kinfolk are mighty proud of her. But now that she's on the bench, she has to remember those campaign promises she made--like agreeing to help WomenAid, a vociferous group of local do-gooders, build a house for a needy family. Before the house is completed, though, things start to go wrong: Annie Sue, Deborah's teenage niece who's helping with the project, is viciously attacked at the building site; Carver Bannerman, a handsome, unscrupulous building inspector, seduces one of Annie Sue's best friends and is later found murdered; and Annie Sue's father is hospitalized after developing a mysterious illness. Of course, it's up to Deborah, with the help of local lawman and sometime-sweetheart Dwight Bryant, to make sense of the bizarre events. Maron's written a thriller that simply oozes southern charm and atmosphere. The clever plot is full of surprises--a good blend of menace, poignancy, and humor. But perhaps Maron's real strength is her refreshing heroine, who doesn't mind admitting she wears a size fourteen dress and who approaches life with humor, determination, and good sense. An excellent choice for all mystery collections.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780692780510
Publisher:
Maron and Company
Publication date:
09/27/2016
Series:
Deborah Knott Series , #2
Pages:
254
Sales rank:
355,998

Meet the Author

MARGARET MARON grew up on a farm near Raleigh, North Carolina, but for many years lived in Brooklyn, New York. When she returned to her North Carolina roots with her artist-husband, Joe, she began a series based on her own background. The first book, Bootlegger's Daughter, became a Washington Post best-seller that swept the major mystery awards for its year and is among the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century as selected by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. Later Deborah Knott novels Up Jumps the Devil, Storm Track, and Three-Day Town each won the Agatha Award for Best Novel. In 2008, Maron received the North Carolina Award for Literature, the state's highest civilian honor. And in 2013, The Mystery Writers of America celebrated Maron's contributions to the mystery genre by naming her a Grand Master-an honor first bestowed on Agatha Christie. In 2016, she was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. To find out more about the author, you can visit MargaretMaron.com. Ebooks are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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Southern Discomfort 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the second in the Deborah Knott series. I enjoyed it as much as I did the first one. Deborah gets sworn in as Judge. She goes through a very nervous first week. On the next weekend she has agreeded to help on a house for battered womern. The house is being build by all women. Things don't go right as her neice, Annie Sue, is found at the house with clothes torn and off and maybe raped. The attacker is found dead at the same house. Deborah has picked up the hammer that was used to kill him, therefore her fingerprints are on the murder weapon. Who did kill him? Annie Sue, Deborah, some of Deborah's brothers, Annie Sue's father? As the story progresses, Herman, Annie Sue's father is taken to hospital with arsenic poisoning. Arsenic is also found in the dead boys blood. How is this possible? The ending is very good. I could just feel and see the people in the story. Margaret Maron has done a good job with what I call a light mystery. If you want horror and gore try Patricia Cornwell or John Sanford. This one is humorous, shows close family ties and all around very good.
cate-k More than 1 year ago
I love the Deborah Knott novels br Margaret Maron, she never disappoints, I know and like Judge Knott and her large extended family, and it is always fun to find out what everybody is up to and how the murder will tie in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No crime was committed until halfway the book, Pages of extranuous 'flavour' After enjoying the first in the series I was terribly disappointed
Marged04 More than 1 year ago
This was my 2nd of Ms Maron's books, and it was wonderful! I lived in SC for years, and it was refreshing to hear phrases that made me laugh and reminded me of youthful times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love all her books and the personal growth Deborah Knott shows.