Judge Deborah Knott of the Colleton County (N.C.) District Court is one of the most delightful and original of contemporary amateur detectives. The youngest of 12 children--and the only girl--she knows everyone in the county and is never shy about poking her nose in all manner of suspicious happenings. Then she sits readers down for a cosy chat about her adventures, as though they were old friends. In the series's seventh novel (Homes Fires), when promiscuous Lynn Bullock is found strangled in the Orchid Motel wearing black lace underwear, suspects include several local men as well as the deceased's attorney husband, Jason, and Deborah's womanizing cousin Reid Stephenson. But Deborah saw all of these men playing softball at the time of the murder. The judge helps investigate the crime, but soon she has to confront another killer--ferocious Hurricane Fran, fast approaching from the coast. Maron immerses the reader in the down-home, inbred world of the rural South, where intertwined family histories are common knowledge and some old-timers, like Deborah's unrepentant bootlegger father, still live by obsolete customs. Colleton County also has a growing population of black and female professionals, as well as spreading residential development to accommodate suburbanites from the coastal cities 150 miles away. One of Maron's many skills is her ability to weave into her story the social changes coming to this region with the speed of that hurricane. Agent, Vicky Bijur. Mystery Guild main selection. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/17/2000 Release date: 04/01/2000 Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 304 pages - 978-0-446-60939-5
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