Sand Sharks (Deborah Knott Series #15)

Sand Sharks (Deborah Knott Series #15)

by Margaret Maron

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Judge Deborah Knott can't wait to trade the lush fields of Colleton County for the clear blue ocean and long stretches of sand at Wrightsville Beach. A summer conference for the North Carolina district court judges couldn't come soon enough for Deborah, who is overwhelmed by her newly married life and the responsibilities of being a mom.

Lying beneath the hot summer sun in Wrightsville and reconnecting with old friends over delicious seafood dinners in nearby Wilmington, Deborah finally begins to unwind. But tensions are building beneath the surface of this seemingly peaceful resort area. Deborah's relaxing trip to the seaside takes a sudden, dark turn when she stumbles upon the strangled corpse of one of her less-admired colleagues. It doesn't take long before she realizes that the killer may have another target, much closer to home.

Unwilling to stand idly by while the murderer draws near, Deborah begins to investigate alone. At each turn, her list of suspects grows to include everyone from her judicial colleagues and friends to local television personalities and restaurant employees, and soon it seems that anyone in Wilmington could be capable of murder.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446618090
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 11/01/2010
Series: Deborah Knott Series , #15
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 376,847
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

MARGARET MARON grew up in the country near Raleigh, North Carolina, but for many years lived in Brooklyn, New York. When she and her artist husband returned to the farm that had been in her family for a hundred years, she began a series based on her own background. The first book, Bootlegger's Daughter, became a Washington Post bestseller that swept the major mystery awards for its year-winning the Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Awards for Best Novel-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 also won the Agatha Award for Best Novel. Margaret is also the author of the Sigrid Harald series of detective novels. In 2008, Maron received the North Carolina Award for Literature, the highest civilian honor the state bestows on its authors. 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. To find out more about her, you can visit

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Sand Sharks (Deborah Knott Series #15) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
WordSmith707 More than 1 year ago
I'm a big fan of the Deborah Knott Series and this book did not disappoint! A good read, well plotted story, kept me guessing - I totally enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have all the other Deborah Knott books and this one was worth waiting for. Can't wait for the next installment!!!!!!!!
RegencyReader More than 1 year ago
When Judge Deborah Knott decides to attend the Spring Conference of Judges what she is seeking is a little beach time, a chance to mix and mingle with her friends and peers plus grab an insight on all the updates to the judicial system. What she never expected is to be the one that would discover a dead body the first night nor be involved in anything even remotely unsavory this far from home. With Dwight away with Cal cleaning out the home of his deceased ex-wife's in Virginia, Deborah's first line of support is unable to provide the emotional support she has come to rely on. He is always free with advice even if it is over the phone but any problems that arise will be hers to handle. After it is discovered the dead man was an unpopular and disliked judge who is suspected of a number of not unprofessional acts Deborah does her best to work the case on her own. Deborah is never one to sit idly by or shy away from any investigation whether her assistance is requested or not is asked by the officer to do a little snooping amoungst the judges and help him uncover why someone would want this judge killed. Deborah of course being the "helpful" officer of the court that she is jumps at the chance. While circulating through the crowd and listening in on the different workshops she spends a bit of that time asking questions of everyone including her cousin Reid Stephenson who it turns out is attending another conference in the same area. While Deborah would never suspect Reid of anything untoward, he appears to have had a history with the murdered judge and while it may be just a coincidence why is he pleading with her to not tell the authorities - what is Reid up to now? While Deborah has always viewed Reid as a younger brother such is not the case with her ex-husband Allen Stancil. Why are so many of the men in her life that she doesn't need showing up at the wrong place. It appears that Allan now is a respectable businessman with custody of his children but it seems he too has a questionable relationship with the judge prior to his being killed. There are so many judges, too much personal drama for her liking and way too much of her ex-husband who is really not an ex-husband since he failed to divorce the other wife first. On top of dealing with Reid, her ex-husband, a lecherous judge that refuses to understand she is not interested there is also the drama of the judge who just can't stop cheating on his wife even while they are trying to reconcile. What a mess Deborah is in now and Dwight is too far away to offer anything but emotional support which she needs but not as much as the comfort his presence brings. This book is what every reader dreams about - a great lead character, superior storyline and a mystery that until you are told "who did it" you cannot even venture to guess. The only downside is the number of judges mentioned can be a little confusing but not overwhelming as the story progresses and you figure out all the players - it just takes some long term memory to remind you of who is doing what with whom. You miss Dwight, Mr. Kezzie and the extended family but Deborah can and does indeed carry her own story without any of them even being a secondary character. Ms. Maron is the master of this genre and every year the end of summer she reminds the reader how a great mystery is written.
mchwest on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite authors and she had me again... I can never figure out who did it, and I do enjoy her books because of this. The good writing and the local flavor she brings to her southern mysteries. Enjoy!
ashleywintters on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
New York Times bestselling Author, Margaret Maron delivers again! Deborah Knott is no stranger to crime Being a Judge, she is always subjected to its depravity. Still, when she found the body of a coworker dangling it shook her. There are more people with a grudge against murdered Judge Jeffreys than the police could possibly interrogate. The suspect list includes everyone from attorneys to fellow judges and even a television heartthrob!Deborah¿s stress is added to by her personal life. Newly married and a stepson who has just lost his mother in a violent crime, her attention is mainly focused on attending to the men in her life. She alternately butts heads with her stepson and wanting to coddle him so his world will stop spinning out of control. The conference was supposed to be a reprieve from the stress of her life, but instead she is thrown into the middle of a murder investigation. Deborah is hesitant to give all the information she has to the police because it implicates some friends that she knows can¿t be involved, but the more she finds out the more she realizes she is surrounded by people who could be involved!An intriguing, twisted tale that keeps you guessing and enthralled. You won¿t want to put this book down!Reviewed by Ashley Wintters for Suspense Magazine
cherryblossommj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Review by my mother:Sand Sharks is the newest in the Margaret Maron series based on the very likeable, youthful, female judge Deborah Knott. In this novel Deborah is attending a judges¿ conference on the shore of North Carolina away from her home near Raleigh, NC. The interaction with her fellow judges and the descriptions of the coastal area of NC were very interesting, but this book was not as good as others in the series. In past books Deborah has been so certain that her marriage to Dwight is absolutely right that her doubts in this book seem out of character for her. There were quite a few characters form past stories, and it seemed that some of this story was just tying in loose threads from the past. The mystery lacked adequate clues for the dedicated reader to figure out who the murderer was and why the crime was committed. Do read it if you like the series. There were quite a few sharks.
NewsieQ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Deborah Knott is off for a few days to a conference with her fellow North Carolina judges. Before the conference even begins, one of her fellow judges is murdered and it¿s Deborah who spots the body. Pete Jeffreys was, by all accounts, not a shining example of an ethical jurist ¿ he was lazy, indifferent and ¿ so it¿s rumored -- not above accepting a spot of bribery. When Gary Edwards, the detective investigating the murder, learns Deborah is married to a respected lawman, he asks her to keep her eyes and ears open for any information that may help in the investigation. That¿s all the opening Judge Knott needs to snoop to her heart¿s content. She doesn¿t believe for one minute that an conference attendee murdered him, but she soon learns that a few judges did have a motive. Or might the murderer be someone adversely affected by one of the judge¿s rulings? Margaret Maron can be counted on for a mystery that has it all: a strong protagonist it¿s easy for readers to care about, consistently good plotting, and near-flawless writing. Ms. Maron been cranking books out for so long it¿s amazing to me that they still feel new and fresh. And, after 15 Deborah Knott mysteries, the author still is discovering new depths to plumb with the series¿ main characters. I have just one complaint about Sand Sharks ¿ and that has to do with the number of named characters. I believe an author should give full names only to characters that are important to the plot. Once the character list gets too long, I get grumpy. Still, Deborah Knott is one of my favorite mystery heroines and Margaret Maron one of my favorite authors.By Diana. First published in Mystery News, August-September 2009 issue. Review based on publisher- or author-provided review copy.
phyllis2779 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent mystery. Very well-plotted. Killer was not immediately obvious. Knott's family and husband did not appear much in this installment which was OK.
DanieXJ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
To start, any book that references Emily Proctor (actress, CSI: Miami among other things, such as Lana Lang on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) is a good book. But even without that reference it was an amazing book. After the last few Knott series books focused very much on Deborah's family, both her newly formed and her gigantic original family it was refreshing to get a book about her alone.This book also seemed to pull together threads of many of the other books (sorta made me want to go back and re-read them too). It was a little weird to have an asterisk and a 'see this title for the whole story', but it wasn't horribly distracting because you see it a lot in comic books and I've read my share of Trade Paperbacks.One thing that was a bit more distracting was when all of a sudden the chapters had subtitles of other characters (I think she only did it for two) I forget if she's done that before and it worked okay or not, but the first time I saw it, it threw me for a second.On the whole it was a great book, well plotted, awesome characters, witty dialog. I'm just oh so very sad that it had to end and I have to wait so long for another one.
caitemaire on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this, the 15th book in the series, Judge Deborah Knott is off to a judicial conference with her North Carolina peers in Wrightsville Beach. She is excited to be going because it is not only a chance to reconnect with some of her friends and fellow judges, bone up on some new aspects of legislation that effects her decisions on the bench but it will also allow Deborah a few days break from her new husband and stepson. Not that she doesn't love them both, but neither a new marriage or her new role as a mom are without a few difficulties to be worked out.And then also, who doesn't love a conference that will be held in a lovely hotel on a beautiful beach. That is until the body of one of the judges is found floating in the Cape Fear River near a popular restaurant where many of the conference goers were dining. The person that discovers the body is none other than Deborah and some of the major suspects turn out to be people she has know or worked with for years. But of course, that will not stop her from getting in the thick of the investigation, with the police even asking for her help in some aspects of the investigation. Which may end up making her another potential victim.This is the first one of Ms. Maron's book that I have read but I am a sucker for a good mystery and then set that mystery by the ocean and you have me as a reader! And this is a good mystery. I did not figure out who the murderer was and yet, when the killer's identity was revealed, I had to admit that the clues were all there. Always a good sign, because I like my mystery writers to be fair. I also want my mystery writers to create smart, thinking characters and Judge Knott is that. No fumbling, damsel in distress here, but a female character who is smart and well respected in her professional life, at a good place in her personal life and yet up for a little adventure in solving a mystery. And capable of handling some adventure.This may be the first of the Judge Knott's series that I have read, but I very much doubt it will be my last. I am anxious to explore some of the other North Carolina settings, starting with the interesting sounding "Bootlegger's Daughter". Sand Sharks is an interesting story, a pretty fast read, with a very good main character that makes a good introduction to what appears to be an entertaining series.
reannon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the sixteenth in the excellent Deborah Knott series by Margaret Maron, about a judge in North Carolina who has a large and interesting family. In this book, Deborah is at Wrightsville Beach for an annual convention of state judges. One of the judges who is known for being lazy and incompetent is murdered.A good book in an excellent series. Not my favorite of the series, but I did enjoy it.
TerryWeyna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I still miss Margaret Maron¿s series character Sigrid Haraldson. But her Deborah Knott series has been so successful that it seems unlikely that Maron will ever leave North Carolina for New York, or step off the bench and back into the police station.Fortunately, the Judge Knott series remains fun to read, if a tad too cozy for my taste. I normally zip through these books in about a day, just to catch up with Deborah, her husband, her stepson, her 11 brothers and her father, a former bootlegger. They¿re also interesting books to read in terms of technique, because Maron pulls off some stunts that most mystery writers couldn¿t get away with, such as switching the point of view or changing voice (from first person to third and back again). Without using these tricks, Maron couldn¿t play fair with her audience about solving the mystery (though she still doesn¿t manage it in these two books, in my opinion); and she couldn¿t have several parallel stories playing out at once. A more skillful writer would probably be able to manage all that while staying in a single character¿s point of view and voice, but here the changes simply seem to make the books feel all the more comfortable and unchallenging ¿ good for a quick read, but not intended to make the reader think too much.Death's Half Acre tells the story of a county commissioner who tends to favor developers who are quickly despoiling the countryside with ticky-tacky houses, and to have a little too much money at her disposal. Unless she¿s milking her cleaning business of profits and failing to pay what she¿s supposed to pay to her ex-husband or taking bribes, there doesn¿t seem to be any way she could afford to pay cash for her new house. When she is murdered, it looks as if she might also be engaged in blackmail. But who was her victim, if there was one? And who killed her?The real treat of Death's Half Acre, though, is the parallel mystery we get involving Deborah¿s father, Kezzie. In the first chapter, a man approaches Kezzie Knott to ask his help in preventing his grandmother from giving away her land to an apparently corrupt preacher. We¿ve already seen this misogynist at work in the prologue, when he forces his wife to perform a distasteful act in front of his entire congregation on Easter Sunday. So we want to see what Kezzie will get up to, and his machinations don¿t disappoint.Deborah gets into more trouble than she should in this book, and nearly pays a high price for it. Her motive for failing to go to the police with key evidence seems to me rather weak, but that sometimes happens in cozies. Still, one would think a judge would have more sense.Deborah seems to have her head on a bit straighter in Sand Sharks, which takes place oceanside during a judges¿ conference. The plot here is a bit tighter than in Death's Half Acre, but the mystery of who did the killing is a lot less fair. The real joy of this book is watching Deborah interact with her fellow judges, including Will Blackstone, who readers might remember from an earlier book (I sure did, and I was chuckling almost from the moment he made his first appearance as a result). I enjoyed the war stories the judges tell one another about their work, the description of the topics at the conference, and the camaraderie the judges share. Perhaps it¿s because I¿m a lawyer and have been to similar conferences myself, but this just felt comfortable and right.I read Maron¿s books with the expectation that I¿ll get a pleasant couple of hours out of them, and that expectation is always met. There is absolutely no challenge here, not even much of a challenge to use my imagination. But they¿re fun. One can¿t complain about that.
BrianEWilliams on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an entertaining murder mystery about an amateur detective who happens to be a trial court judge. The murder happens at an annual convention for the judges at a seaside resort. The detective judge happens to find the body of another judge who has been murdered. It turns out that the murdered judge was corrupt and lazy. A couple of his incompetent rulings caused others harm, including some of the other judges at the convention. This means there's several suyspects among the judges. The identity is reveal in the last chapter, which is full of suspense and action. This is an above-average mystery.
khiemstra631 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Maron takes Judge Deborah Knott off her home turf down to the seaside town of Wilmington, NC for a judge's conference in this installment of the series. There's something about removing a series from its home turf that can lead to a weaker than usual story. I think that's what has happened in this case. Add to that the fact that her new husband Dwight is off at a law enforcement of his own. While that may be convenient, phone conversations between lovers are kind of boring for those listening or reading. Nonetheless, it's not a bad book, just not one of the better ones of the series. If you have not read any of the other books, I would not recommend starting here. If you are a series fan, by all means, do not miss it.
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Unfortunately, the Deborah Knott series appears to have completely run out of steam. This book is almost totally lacking in the elements that have made most of the other books in the series so charming---i.e., Deborah's new husband (Dwight) & stepson (Cal) & her fascinating clan of brothers, their wives & her "Daddy." Dwight only makes cameo appearance in the very beginning & at the end. During the remainder of the book, Deborah is at a conference in another city with a huge cast of superfluous characters. Since the storyline is very thin, the author resorts to padding it by describing everyone's appearance & clothing & the furnishings of every room in exhaustive detail. Also, the book is printed in a large type font with wide margins--another sure sign that there is not much of a story there. This might have been a good short story, but it's not worth the price of a full-length book & I won't rush out to buy the next one.