Bootlegger’s Daughter by Margaret Maron


Cozy Mystery

Bootlegger's daughter Bootlegger’s DaughterMargaret Maron; Mysterious Press 1992WorldCatRecently I have been reading a lot of good mysteries that were recommended by other people. This one is one of the best mysteries I’ve read in a while. Ms. Maron strikes the right voice in the narrator for her setting and devises a murder mystery that is superb. The right elements combine to make a must read book.

Deborah Knott is an attorney in their small North Carolina town and is the daughter of a farmer who is known throughout the community. She has decided to run for the local judge seat that is coming up. She is running against three men in the primaries, two white and one black. She tells this story.

While she is trying to mount a successful campaign, an eighteen-year-old girl she used to babysit approaches her. Gayle wants to know who murdered her mother and left her, as a three month old baby, to be found together. Her mother had both a severe head injury and a gunshot wound. Gayle was unharmed except for dehydration.

So Deborah asks questions around town; she does not expect to get any leads. She hopes to satisfy Gayle. She is still defending cases in the local court. When she takes Gayle out to the spot where the two were found those many years before, someone shoots at them and their escort. She is appearing at all the local functions trying to get votes in the upcoming primary election. Someone spreads hate flyers around her jurisdiction to ruin her campaign. And her father was a bootlegger and is an ex-convict. Her odds of becoming the next judge are not high. Her odds of discovering a murderer are not high. She perseveres anyway.

This book looks at small town life in the South. The local gay artist still calls the negroes working for him in the yard “boys” when his political correctness lapses. Everyone around knows Deborah’s father and what he did for so many years. The rich retired doctor and his wife are still withdrawn from the town; they have the idea they are better than the regular townspeople. Everyone knows everyone and nothing is secret. Except those deep dark secrets that are not discussed even by the people involved.

Deborah Knott series at Stop! You’re Killing Me!
More books by Margaret Maron

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