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Bootlegger's Daughter

by Margaret Maron

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Deborah Knott (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9483816,721 (3.82)146
Attorney Deborah Knott has just entered the heated race for judge of old-boy-ruled Colleton County. The only female candidate, she's busy reeling in voters and giving campaign speeches. There couldn't be a worse time for Gayle Whitehead to beg Deborah to investigate the eighteen-year-old, unsolved murder of Gayle's mother, Janie.… (more)
  1. 10
    A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie (benfulton)
    benfulton: Strong, well-written female detectives.

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» See also 146 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
I was not wildly impressed with this first book in this series despite the fact it won the Edgar and Anthony Awards for best novel. I listened to it because the author had recently died and online comments mentioned this series as being her best. I found the prime character, Deborah Knott, to be too good to be believed; she's smart, beautiful, unmarried but not without many suitors, good at fishing and other outdoor pursuits and able to juggle multiple calls on her time without ever wearing herself down. Not my cup of tea. ( )
  gypsysmom | Jul 25, 2021 |
It seems key to Attorney Deborah Knott's identity that when she gets fed up with the abuses of racist judges she chooses to run for the office rather than support the qualified black man who is already in the race. And if it weren't for the fallout of her investigation on behalf of the girl she once babysat she might have a better chance. None of the men who is interested in her can attach her feelings, though women don't seem to interest her. The rare southern novel without a chorus of heat and sweat. ( )
  quondame | Jul 11, 2021 |
Thoroughly enjoyable, Deborah Knott is indeed the daughter of a (former) bootlegger and has six older brothers, so you bet, she's a tough one. Works in the 'family' law-firm (cousins) and has decided to run for a district judgeship when all hell breaks loose. Deborah's asked by a young woman for whom she used to babysit to look into, one more time, her mother's murder and reluctantly agrees. Every bit of the work is solid, characters, dialogue, setting and plot. The first three are what I like best in mysteries, so I was happy. I'll be continuing! **** ( )
  sibylline | Jun 9, 2021 |
This first Deborah Knott mystery introduces lawyer Deborah Knott who has decided to run for district judge. She is outraged at what she sees as betrayal of justice from a bigoted, snobbish judge and believes that she can do better.

She is running in her home county where she's related to many and knows many more. She comes with a reputation of her own since her father was a well-known bootlegger who went to prison but then had his sentence expunged. Now he's a prominent businessman in the county with lots of political power. Deborah and her father are currently estranged because she isn't the picture of a usual Southern woman and he doesn't understand why she wanted to be a lawyer and now wants to be a judge.

She's busy with her campaign when Gayle Whitehead comes to see her. Eighteen years earlier, Gayle and her mother Janie went missing. Janie was found a few days later dead in an old abandoned mill. Gayle was found in a babyseat near her mother dehydrated and dirty. The murder was never solved but not Gayle wants Deborah to look into it one last time.

Deborah babysat for Gayle and more recently she's dated Gayle's dad Jed Whitehead who she had a crush on as a teenager. She tries to discourage Gayle but eventually agrees to look into it as she is campaigning.

As Deborah investigates, she apparently is too close to buried secrets and becomes a target herself. First someone tries to damage her campaign and then shots are fired. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters Deborah meets and interviews in this story set in the early 90s. Racial tensions are still high. Homosexuals are not well-accepted. Cell phones aren't yet in everybody's pocket.

I loved the Southern setting with the strong sense of community. I loved Deborah who has a strong sense of justice and great tolerance for the old boy network while finding her own way to work around it. This is the first of a 20 book series and I look forward to reading many more. ( )
  kmartin802 | Apr 2, 2021 |
Unconventional North Carolina attorney Deborah Knott does the unthinkable when she tosses her hat into the heated race for district judge of old-boy ruled Colleton County. Then suddenly, the young daughter of Janie Whitehead begs her to investigate Janie's unsolved, eighteen-year-old murder. Taking the case, Deborah uncovers dangerous old secrets. . . and someone determined to derail her future - political and otherwise. But it will take more than sleazy scare tactics to frighten this tough steel magnolia off the scent of down-home deceit. . .even in a town where a cool slug of moonshine made by Deborah's father can go down just as smoothly as a cold case of triple murder. ( )
  jepeters333 | Apr 9, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Soms vertelt een korte novelle veel meer dan een vuistdikke roman die bol staat van de verhalen. Daar in de bergen is hiervan een goed voorbeeld. In nauwelijk zeventig pagina’s weet de franstalige Algerijnse schrijfster Maïssa Bey haarfijn te beschrijven wat de consequenties zijn van de genadeloze koloniale Algerijnse Oorlog die het land tussen 1954 en 1962 volledig in de greep had en hoe vrijwel iedere betrokkenen in zekere zin ook slachtoffer was…lees verder >

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maron, Margaretprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chase, AlTypesettersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walotsky, RonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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To Carl Jackson and Sue Stephenson Honeycutt---for friendship and kinship rooted two hundred years in eastern North Carolina's sandy loam
First words
Prologue: Possum Creek trickles out of a swampy waste a little south of Raleigh.
[Partner John Claude Lee looks pained as he noticed the mess Deborah has made of firm's copy of the newspaper]
...(Okay, so I notice nuances, too. But I'm older than Sherry. My generation was raised to notice. Doesn't mean I still react with an automatic 'I'm sorry' or 'Let me take care of whatever's bothering your little ol' manly sense of rightness' the way she does.) (chapter 7)
(Don't ask me how Daddy knows that [some gossip about Gray Hooks and his father]. He just does. But then he's always kept tabs on everything that goes on around his part of the county. He may not've ever studied Francis Bacon, but he sure does subscribe to Bacon's tenet that knowledge is power. (chapter 7)
[Deborah, telling readers about the kind of woman her mother had been]
Nine times out of ten, a good woman does exactly what her family and society expect of her.

That tenth time? Better stand back out of her way.

She'll burn down her world just for the hell of it, or risk everything she's worked a lifetime for on pure-out whimsy. (chapter 13)
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Attorney Deborah Knott has just entered the heated race for judge of old-boy-ruled Colleton County. The only female candidate, she's busy reeling in voters and giving campaign speeches. There couldn't be a worse time for Gayle Whitehead to beg Deborah to investigate the eighteen-year-old, unsolved murder of Gayle's mother, Janie.

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Average: (3.82)
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1 3
2 11
2.5 1
3 52
3.5 25
4 100
4.5 8
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Hachette Book Group

2 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0446403237, 0892964456

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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