cover image The Buzzard Table

The Buzzard Table

Margaret Maron. Grand Central, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-446-55582-1

In Maron's intriguing 18th Deborah Knott mystery, the North Carolina judge teams with the author's other series lead, NYPD homicide detective Sigrid Harald, as she did in 2011's Agatha-winning Three-Day Town. When Sigrid and her mother, photojournalist Anne Lattimore Harald, travel to Cotton Grove, N.C., to visit Sigrid's ailing grandmother, Deborah enlists Anne to help a young photographer, Jeremy Harper, who has been sentenced for trespassing after he attempted to photograph CIA "rendition flights" from the Colleton County airstrip. Meanwhile, the disappearance of promiscuous realtor Rebecca Jowett, the strange activities of British ornithologist Martin Crawford (who's studying turkey vultures), and the murder of a pilot staying at a local hotel provide plenty of investigative grist for Deborah's police officer husband, Dwight Bryant, as well as for Sigrid. Maron successfully combines a look at family foibles and relationships with a series of moral choices that challenge the characters' sense of law and justice. Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary. (Nov.)