Originally published in “A Woman’s Eye,” edited by Sara Paretsky (1991) and republished in “Shoveling Smoke: Selected Mystery Stories by Margaret Maron”, Crippen & Landru (1997).
"When I first began to contemplate a new series, Sara Paretsky asked if I’d contribute a story to her anthology. I’d had the germ of this plot for years but could never seem to bring it into focus. It wasn’t a Sigrid Harald situation, but what if I gave it to a young Southern attorney? Or what if it were a district court judge? Or an attorney running for judge? Before I knew it, Deborah Knott strolled into my head and began telling this story. I shall always be grateful to Sara for giving me a chance to “test-drive” Deborah’s first-person voice before tackling Bootlegger’s Daughter."
(Cover design: Andrea Maron)
(Cover graphic: © 2012 Joe Maron)
About the Author
After high school came two years of college until a summer job at the Pentagon led to marriage, a tour of duty in Italy, then several years in my husband’s native Brooklyn. I had always loved writing and for the first few years, wrote nothing but short stories and very bad poetry. (The legendary Ruth Cavin of St. Martin’s Press once characterized my verses as “doggerel. But inspired doggerel.”)
Eventually, I backed into writing novels about NYPD Lt. Sigrid Harald, mysteries set against the New York City art world. But love of my native state and a desire to write out of current experiences led to the creation of District Court Judge Deborah Knott, the opinionated daughter of a crusty old ex-bootlegger and youngest sibling of eleven older brothers. (I was one of only three, so no, I’m not writing about my own family.)
We’ve been back on a corner of the family land for many years now. My city-born husband discovered he prefers goldfinches, rabbits, and the occasional quiet deer to yellow cabs, concrete, and a city that never sleeps. A son, a daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters are icing on our cake.