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Long Upon the Land

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Margaret Maron, New York Times bestselling author and Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, returns to Colleton County with an exciting new Deborah Knott mystery . . . LONG UPON THE LAND On a quiet August morning, Judge Deborah Knott's father Kezzie makes a shocking discovery on a remote corner of his farm: the body of a man bludgeoned to death. Investigating this crime, Margaret Maron, New York Times bestselling author and Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, returns to Colleton County with an exciting new Deborah Knott mystery . . . LONG UPON THE LAND On a quiet August morning, Judge Deborah Knott's father Kezzie makes a shocking discovery on a remote corner of his farm: the body of a man bludgeoned to death. Investigating this crime, Deborah's husband, Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant, soon uncovers a long-simmering hostility between Kezzie and the slain man over a land dispute. The local newspaper implies that Deborah's family may have had something to do with the murder-and that Dwight is dragging his feet on the case. Meanwhile, Deborah is given a cigarette lighter that once belonged to her mother. The cryptic inscription inside rekindles Deborah's curiosity about her parents' past, and how they met. For years she has wondered how the daughter of a wealthy attorney could have married a widowed, semi-illiterate bootlegger, and this time she's determined to find the answer. But why are Deborah's brothers so reluctant to talk about the dead man? Is the murder linked to Kezzie's illegal whiskey business? And could his courtship of Deborah's mother have something to do with the bad blood between the two families? Despite Deborah's promise not to interfere in Dwight's work, she cannot stop herself from doing everything she can to help clear her brothers and her father from suspicion . . .


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Margaret Maron, New York Times bestselling author and Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, returns to Colleton County with an exciting new Deborah Knott mystery . . . LONG UPON THE LAND On a quiet August morning, Judge Deborah Knott's father Kezzie makes a shocking discovery on a remote corner of his farm: the body of a man bludgeoned to death. Investigating this crime, Margaret Maron, New York Times bestselling author and Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, returns to Colleton County with an exciting new Deborah Knott mystery . . . LONG UPON THE LAND On a quiet August morning, Judge Deborah Knott's father Kezzie makes a shocking discovery on a remote corner of his farm: the body of a man bludgeoned to death. Investigating this crime, Deborah's husband, Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant, soon uncovers a long-simmering hostility between Kezzie and the slain man over a land dispute. The local newspaper implies that Deborah's family may have had something to do with the murder-and that Dwight is dragging his feet on the case. Meanwhile, Deborah is given a cigarette lighter that once belonged to her mother. The cryptic inscription inside rekindles Deborah's curiosity about her parents' past, and how they met. For years she has wondered how the daughter of a wealthy attorney could have married a widowed, semi-illiterate bootlegger, and this time she's determined to find the answer. But why are Deborah's brothers so reluctant to talk about the dead man? Is the murder linked to Kezzie's illegal whiskey business? And could his courtship of Deborah's mother have something to do with the bad blood between the two families? Despite Deborah's promise not to interfere in Dwight's work, she cannot stop herself from doing everything she can to help clear her brothers and her father from suspicion . . .

30 review for Long Upon the Land

  1. 4 out of 5

    LORI CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts A current mystery and a very old mystery come together in the final installment to this long running series. A dead man is found on the Knott property by Judge Deborah Knott’s father Kezzie. The man’s family and Kezzie have had a feud over the that part of the land for years. Many people including the local paper think one of that Knotts, most likely Kezzie, is the one responsible for the man’s death. Deorah and her husband, Sheriff’s Deputy Dwight Bryant, are working hard to f Dollycas’s Thoughts A current mystery and a very old mystery come together in the final installment to this long running series. A dead man is found on the Knott property by Judge Deborah Knott’s father Kezzie. The man’s family and Kezzie have had a feud over the that part of the land for years. Many people including the local paper think one of that Knotts, most likely Kezzie, is the one responsible for the man’s death. Deorah and her husband, Sheriff’s Deputy Dwight Bryant, are working hard to find the real killer and claim the family of any wrong doing. The old mystery started way back, even before the first book of the series, Bootlegger’s Daughter. How did a daughter of a wealthy attorney end of married to Kezzie Knott, a widowed bootlegger? This time Deborah is going to get to the bottom of her family’s history. Both mysteries are excellently written and draw you into the story, but for me and most likely other fans of this series, it was the part about Deborah’s parents that I truly latched onto. The author rotates between each story separately the chapters with the present and the past. We see through the flashbacks Susan entered Kezzie’s life just when he needed her most although he needed to be convinced of that. I am so happy we were able to tie this all together. As for the new mystery, it ties into the old one as one family benefited from another’s downfall. A long time grudge has been carried and the entire Knott family could be on the suspect list but Dwight knows they are innocent. Small town life and family relationships come into play as the real killer is sought. I am sorry that this series has ended but Ms. Maron has ended it in a way that pleased me. She is continuing her other series and there is a tie in to this one so maybe Deborah and Dwight will have some cameo appearances there. Either way I have enjoyed this entire series and recommend them all.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    I was halfway through this book when I found out that it is the last Deborah Knott book that is going to be written. I was devastated. I've been enjoying time with Deborah Knott's family for over 20 years and am going to miss catching up with the goings on in Colleton County. I loved this book, especially the back story of how Kezzie and Sue came to be. I respect Margaret Maron's decision and agree it's good to go out on top, but these characters came to feel like people I knew and liked and I w I was halfway through this book when I found out that it is the last Deborah Knott book that is going to be written. I was devastated. I've been enjoying time with Deborah Knott's family for over 20 years and am going to miss catching up with the goings on in Colleton County. I loved this book, especially the back story of how Kezzie and Sue came to be. I respect Margaret Maron's decision and agree it's good to go out on top, but these characters came to feel like people I knew and liked and I will miss them.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    I eagerly anticipate each new offering in Margaret Maron's Judge Deborah Knott series. The characters are like family to me after all these years and I think Margaret Maron is one of the best writers out there. The book draws you in to life in Colleton County, North Carolina and the members of Deborah's very large extended family. This story was a special treat because we learned more about Deborah's mother Sue and how she came to marry Kezzie Knott, single father to 8 little boys. That must hav I eagerly anticipate each new offering in Margaret Maron's Judge Deborah Knott series. The characters are like family to me after all these years and I think Margaret Maron is one of the best writers out there. The book draws you in to life in Colleton County, North Carolina and the members of Deborah's very large extended family. This story was a special treat because we learned more about Deborah's mother Sue and how she came to marry Kezzie Knott, single father to 8 little boys. That must have taken a special kind of courage! Oh yes, there's a murder mystery to solve in this volume also. I read on the dust jacket that in 2013, Maron was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of American and that she has also won the Agatha Award for Best Novel. Highly recommended, as always!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    This is the last of the Deborah Knott series. I spent a long time getting around to reading this purely because I only have a hardcover edition, which feels so inconvenient to read these days. For some reason Maron's publisher is slow/reluctant to release ebook/audible versions, which is a real disservice to her, imho. The final story melds a few 'small' mysteries with more gentle exploration of the sprawling Knott family and their North Carolina setting. Maron is a writer whose craft has just co This is the last of the Deborah Knott series. I spent a long time getting around to reading this purely because I only have a hardcover edition, which feels so inconvenient to read these days. For some reason Maron's publisher is slow/reluctant to release ebook/audible versions, which is a real disservice to her, imho. The final story melds a few 'small' mysteries with more gentle exploration of the sprawling Knott family and their North Carolina setting. Maron is a writer whose craft has just continually improved, from her early Sigrid Harald books, to this long series about a female judge whose homecoming cannot help but be complicated by her sheer amount of family connections, and her father's history as a bootlegger. Maron's ability to invest interest in everything, from family history to the petty crimes Deborah Knott deals with in court, makes these books a thorough pleasure to read, and I recommend them to anyone who likes a bit of slice of life along with their detecting. You can either start with Bootlegger's Daughter, or (if the long series is too daunting), jump to Slow Dollar, which represents a significant change in Deborah's circumstances, and where Maron's craft has reached full strength. She's apparently going back to the Harald series now, for at least one more book (already released, but irritatingly again the formats I want to buy are region locked). She's grown so much as a writer that I'm very interested to see what she does with her New York detective.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Linda Baker

    Long Upon the Land brings to an end the long running and multi-award winning Judge Deborah Knott series. As a native North Carolinian, the series has been a must-read for me though out. From the first in the series, Bootlegger's Daughter, the series has centered around the huge Knott clan. Deborah is one of twelve, the only daughter of Kezzie Knott and his second wife, Susan. Susan came from a upper-class family, the daughter of a prominent local attorney; Kezzie a semi-literate farmer and a ref Long Upon the Land brings to an end the long running and multi-award winning Judge Deborah Knott series. As a native North Carolinian, the series has been a must-read for me though out. From the first in the series, Bootlegger's Daughter, the series has centered around the huge Knott clan. Deborah is one of twelve, the only daughter of Kezzie Knott and his second wife, Susan. Susan came from a upper-class family, the daughter of a prominent local attorney; Kezzie a semi-literate farmer and a reformed (?) bootlegger. They don't come much more shrewd than Kezzie, however, and he was always a great father to his huge family. The final installment of the series revolves around the discovery of a dead body on Knott land by Kezzie himself. Kezzie says that he doesn't know the dead man, but it turns out that there has been a history of conflict between the dead man's family and Kezzie, along with Deborah's older brothers. The local paper gets wind of it and publishes stories hinting that the Judge and her husband, Deputy Dwight Bryant of the Colleton County Police are somehow using their influence to cover things up. Meanwhile, Deborah is trying to solve the mystery of an engraved cigarette lighter that was always carried by her long-dead mother. I wish I could say I loved the final act of the Deborah Knott Series but to be truthful, I am glad that Maron has chosen to close it out here. I was happy to get more background on Kezzie and Susan through flashbacks to 1945 and their courtship. Knowing how rigid the social system in the South can be, I could never quite see how Susan could jump the divide. Maron has never shied away from the ugly parts of the South and I have always appreciated that. She also shows the flip side though the love and support that the Knotts have for each other. North Carolina has changed a lot since I grew up there. For instance, North Carolina was a very progressive state and I got a great education in the public schools. The fact that it is now number 48 of 50 in school funding levels is nothing short of a tragedy in my opinion. Hopefully, the pendulum will swing back and soon. I will miss Deborah and family, but as I understand it, Maron is picking up her Sigrid Harald series based in New York City; that earlier series was always underrated. Since Sigrid has connections to Colleton County, we may see Deborah again in passing. Who knows? I recommend this final outing, but I liked, not loved it. RATING- 3 Stars

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    . . . wonderful, twisty, interlaced plots, and marvelous ending, but sad it's over. I do love the Knott clan! I would have had a hard time leaving for tai chi if I hadn't finished, which was probably why I woke up so early to continue reading. Love books that keep one up late, get one up early, and overrule any desire to turn on the television. Now craving barbecue . . . I am bit sad that it's the final book in the series, but knowing the vagaries of memory, I figure in a year or so I can start . . . wonderful, twisty, interlaced plots, and marvelous ending, but sad it's over. I do love the Knott clan! I would have had a hard time leaving for tai chi if I hadn't finished, which was probably why I woke up so early to continue reading. Love books that keep one up late, get one up early, and overrule any desire to turn on the television. Now craving barbecue . . . I am bit sad that it's the final book in the series, but knowing the vagaries of memory, I figure in a year or so I can start over with _Bootlegger's Daughter_ and read all 20 again. ;-) Poetic allusion: A Psalm of Life BY HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/... Plus a few favorite, non-spoiler quotes: Mama Sue’s mother “Not quite our kind of people, are they, dear?” Deborah “You can give a country boy a town job, but he’s never going to buy all his food in town. Not if he has a square foot of dirt to play with.” Dwight “cut him out of the herd.”

  7. 4 out of 5

    Richard Brand

    There is a nice folksy quality about the way Margaret Maron tells her stories. Obviously, I am not the first or the most scholarly person to say that. She has won a great deal of awards for her Deborah Knott Mysteries. I have read the first and somehow I got the #20 so I need to go back and begin to track the history from the beginning. The murder is about as critical to the story as the planting of corn. I think we would just enjoy the family dynamics but we do need a mystery to carry that alon There is a nice folksy quality about the way Margaret Maron tells her stories. Obviously, I am not the first or the most scholarly person to say that. She has won a great deal of awards for her Deborah Knott Mysteries. I have read the first and somehow I got the #20 so I need to go back and begin to track the history from the beginning. The murder is about as critical to the story as the planting of corn. I think we would just enjoy the family dynamics but we do need a mystery to carry that along. We have a man with head wounds dead. It is on Knott property that had once been Earp property. The bad blood between Knott and Earp had to do with land, drinking, and the endangering the life of Sue Stephenson who became Mrs. Knott. Deborah husband has to do the investigating and Deborah plays a nice little part in breaking up the solution. One is sure there will be more.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anne Slater

    This is not the fastest-paced of Maron's Judge Deborah Knott series, but it IS a murder mystery AND it sets up Miss Sue and Kezzie and helps the avid reader understand how they got together and why they stayed together. Gently paced, easy on the brain, except for remembering who is who and how they are related. Kind of like arriving in a very small town and trying to find a particular person in a huge family. I do NOT recommend reading this first if you haven't read any others in the series. It CA This is not the fastest-paced of Maron's Judge Deborah Knott series, but it IS a murder mystery AND it sets up Miss Sue and Kezzie and helps the avid reader understand how they got together and why they stayed together. Gently paced, easy on the brain, except for remembering who is who and how they are related. Kind of like arriving in a very small town and trying to find a particular person in a huge family. I do NOT recommend reading this first if you haven't read any others in the series. It CAN stand alone, but better to lead up to it! (Too many secrets casually alluded to)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Paula Patterson

    Ok...so the twist at the end definitely shocked me. I really enjoyed this book. Told in present and in flashbacks. Still that ending...just didn't see it coming . Ok...so the twist at the end definitely shocked me. I really enjoyed this book. Told in present and in flashbacks. Still that ending...just didn't see it coming .

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    Kezzie Knott finds the body of an old family enemy on the sprawling Knott farm. Dwight's investigation uncovers domestic brutality that seems fueled by long-standing grievances with the Knott family, and stirs up the muddy histories of some of Deborah's many brothers. Meanwhile Deborah is drawn to investigate how her gently-raised mother came to marry her farm-hardened father. The present-day mystery is told intertwined with scenes from the past, all set against the interactions of busy day-to-d Kezzie Knott finds the body of an old family enemy on the sprawling Knott farm. Dwight's investigation uncovers domestic brutality that seems fueled by long-standing grievances with the Knott family, and stirs up the muddy histories of some of Deborah's many brothers. Meanwhile Deborah is drawn to investigate how her gently-raised mother came to marry her farm-hardened father. The present-day mystery is told intertwined with scenes from the past, all set against the interactions of busy day-to-day contemporary family life. The resulting reflections on how the world has changed during Deborah's lifetime are timely and touching. The tapestry of the story is woven on a warp of civil rights, women's rights, changing social classes, the contrast of poverty and prosperity, and the irony of coming "full circle" from agribusiness to artisanal family farming with the moving ending. This marvelous final entry in the Deborah Knott series brings the story of my favorite fictional judge to a fitting close, although I know she and her clan will live on forever off the pages and in my heart.

  11. 5 out of 5

    CarolineFromConcord

    One mystery series by the late, prolific Margaret Maron concerns North Carolina judge Deborah Knott, who has 10 brothers living nearby and whose husband is a police detective. In this episode, Dwight needs to determine who killed a violent guy nobody liked and dumped his body on Deborah's father's farm. The focus of the book is on family relationships, folksy language, and rural life, not on the mystery. The investigation is limp, even lazy. The interpolated story was a bit more interesting for One mystery series by the late, prolific Margaret Maron concerns North Carolina judge Deborah Knott, who has 10 brothers living nearby and whose husband is a police detective. In this episode, Dwight needs to determine who killed a violent guy nobody liked and dumped his body on Deborah's father's farm. The focus of the book is on family relationships, folksy language, and rural life, not on the mystery. The investigation is limp, even lazy. The interpolated story was a bit more interesting for me. It concerns Deborah's mother and how she met and married a neighbor with a completely different social standing. That thread sometimes takes place in the 1940s and sometimes just involves Deborah asking questions in the present time. In between, we learn how she applies the wisdom of Solomon to settle tricky cases involving family feuds. Except for Deborah's ex-bootlegger father and one brother who wears a pork pie hat, the characters have almost nothing to distinguish them. Everyone in the huge extended family and their servants are nice people, and most of the suspects are not.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    3 1/2 stars - mostly for the character of Deborah Knott, who's very interesting, and her extended family, who are even more interesting. The mystery is decent, but not great. The parallel investigation into her mother's connection with the lighter and Walter is also interesting but not riveting. I did enjoy the story of how Deborah's mother and father got together, especially with his brood of boys. (view spoiler)[ I don't really think it was necessary to kill the cat - I never understand why au 3 1/2 stars - mostly for the character of Deborah Knott, who's very interesting, and her extended family, who are even more interesting. The mystery is decent, but not great. The parallel investigation into her mother's connection with the lighter and Walter is also interesting but not riveting. I did enjoy the story of how Deborah's mother and father got together, especially with his brood of boys. (view spoiler)[ I don't really think it was necessary to kill the cat - I never understand why authors feel like it's OK to casually kill off a pet - I'd rather have 5 more fictional murders than 1 fictional animal death that does nothing but make the reader dislike an already disliked character more, and I'm rounding DOWN due to that alone. (hide spoiler)]

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eli

    Really loved learning the backstory of Deborah's parents. A thoroughly delightful read. Really loved learning the backstory of Deborah's parents. A thoroughly delightful read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    John Marr

    I think this book was written by a focus group. It's too bland to even really dislike, much less hate. But I can try I think this book was written by a focus group. It's too bland to even really dislike, much less hate. But I can try

  15. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Maley

    This is the last book of the Deborah Knott books. I like them mostly for the setting which is where I used to live in North Carolina.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gee-Gee

    Intertwining Lives I have enjoyed every book in this series, but this one is more special. I love hoe the stories of her mother and father are interwoven with the current mystery.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Vannessa Anderson

    I know I’m in for a good read when I pick up a Deborah Knot and Dwight Bryant story. A family holds a long time grudge with Deborah Knox’s daddy Kezzie Knot because the sons believe Kezzie Knot swindled their land from their daddy. One of the sons is found dead on the small patch of land adjacent to the Knox’s land. I truly enjoyed author’s Maron’s complicated style of writing. The material is always interesting, informative, and fun. Author’s Maron did a good job in telling the story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    This is the book that long time readers of the Deborah Knott series have been waiting to read. After 19 books we finally discover how society girl Sue Stephenson meets and marries Kezzie Knott, a widowed bootlegger with eight small sons. Their love story is interspersed with the mystery of the day, the death of a nasty and friendless wife beater who dies in a ditch on the Knott property. The usual elements of family, small town connections and politics provide the answers to both stories and the This is the book that long time readers of the Deborah Knott series have been waiting to read. After 19 books we finally discover how society girl Sue Stephenson meets and marries Kezzie Knott, a widowed bootlegger with eight small sons. Their love story is interspersed with the mystery of the day, the death of a nasty and friendless wife beater who dies in a ditch on the Knott property. The usual elements of family, small town connections and politics provide the answers to both stories and the ending is unexpected and poignant. The entire series of books takes place over a period of about ten years, but Ms. Maron is vague on the timing. In real time Kezzie would be almost 100 years old but the amorphous quality to the "present day" allows all the Knotts to remain vibrant and sharp. While Kezzie has been a force in almost all the books, Sue died when Deborah was 18 and before "The Bootlegger's Daughter" was set. This is the first time we get to see her personality and youthful spunk. I received this book from the publisher as part of a Goodreads giveaway and it is one of my favorites in the series. Ms. Maron has combined all the things that make these books so successful, and the reader feels as if she knows the Knott family personally. I hope she continues the saga for many years because with 11 children and many grandchildren there are endless stories to be discovered.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    I will miss Judge Deborah Knott and her extended family ties in eastern NC. If you are new to her, you should start with _Bootlegger's Daughter_. That is the first Knott novel. This series has been fun, moving, and well-written. _Long Upon the Land_ is the 20th and last novel in the series, and it did need to end. Maron links the beginning of Deborah's parents' love story to her current mystery. It allows Deborah to learn more of her parents' little-known past. I liked it, but the story seemed m I will miss Judge Deborah Knott and her extended family ties in eastern NC. If you are new to her, you should start with _Bootlegger's Daughter_. That is the first Knott novel. This series has been fun, moving, and well-written. _Long Upon the Land_ is the 20th and last novel in the series, and it did need to end. Maron links the beginning of Deborah's parents' love story to her current mystery. It allows Deborah to learn more of her parents' little-known past. I liked it, but the story seemed more light-weight than typical of a Knott novel. I didn't get as involved. It's a quick read, and a must-read for fans of the series. I look forward to Maron's new books, if she has any.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Patti

    Another wonderful book by my favorite author. I love, love, love Deborah, and this series. That said, I am sad that Ms. Maron feels that this is the last of the Deborah Knott series. I respect Ms. Maron's feelings and g about her own work, and it is best to go out on top. She is also writing a new Sigrid Harold book, so at least there are books to look forward to.I own this series, and will definitely reread it. And Ms. Maron gives Deborah and her family a wonderful send off. Highly recommended!! Another wonderful book by my favorite author. I love, love, love Deborah, and this series. That said, I am sad that Ms. Maron feels that this is the last of the Deborah Knott series. I respect Ms. Maron's feelings and g about her own work, and it is best to go out on top. She is also writing a new Sigrid Harold book, so at least there are books to look forward to.I own this series, and will definitely reread it. And Ms. Maron gives Deborah and her family a wonderful send off. Highly recommended!!!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Kern

    This was a very good book and I hope to see the author revisit these characters, after she takes a break. Like many readers, I have learned to love the Knott family. If you like good, fun, quick mysteries consider starting this series; they cover so much southern history and the farming traditions. Deborah finally learns more about her mother and father's early life. Even tho, Maron says this is the last of the series, I feel she left it too wide open to end. All good things do come to an end, t This was a very good book and I hope to see the author revisit these characters, after she takes a break. Like many readers, I have learned to love the Knott family. If you like good, fun, quick mysteries consider starting this series; they cover so much southern history and the farming traditions. Deborah finally learns more about her mother and father's early life. Even tho, Maron says this is the last of the series, I feel she left it too wide open to end. All good things do come to an end, though.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kay Hudson

    I've enjoyed this series from the beginning, and I really gobbled this one up. The contemporary mystery, which may or may not involve members of Judge Deborah Knott's large family, is well done, but Deborah is also delving into the mystery of how her parents, Kezzie (the bootlegger left with eight little boys when his first wife died) and Sue (the daughter of a prominent lawyer), met and fell in love. There's another little mystery embedded in that story, too. Excellent addition to a long-runnin I've enjoyed this series from the beginning, and I really gobbled this one up. The contemporary mystery, which may or may not involve members of Judge Deborah Knott's large family, is well done, but Deborah is also delving into the mystery of how her parents, Kezzie (the bootlegger left with eight little boys when his first wife died) and Sue (the daughter of a prominent lawyer), met and fell in love. There's another little mystery embedded in that story, too. Excellent addition to a long-running series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Maskus

    Even though this is the last book of the Deborah Knott series, the story created a sense of unity. The story alternates among Deborah, Dwight, and Sue. The story winds into the past and the meeting of Sue and Kezzie, and displays family loyalty in many forms. Sue's no nonsense approach to life reminds the reader of Deborah, but Sue presents a kinder, more loving personality. Both Margaret Maron and Karen White successfully utilize different voices and different eras in presenting a well-develope Even though this is the last book of the Deborah Knott series, the story created a sense of unity. The story alternates among Deborah, Dwight, and Sue. The story winds into the past and the meeting of Sue and Kezzie, and displays family loyalty in many forms. Sue's no nonsense approach to life reminds the reader of Deborah, but Sue presents a kinder, more loving personality. Both Margaret Maron and Karen White successfully utilize different voices and different eras in presenting a well-developed story.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mysteryfan

    I received an ARC for this book - it'll be out next month. I like this series. I especially enjoy learning more about North Carolina and watching the characters develop and grow. This is a good entry in the series, as we learn a little more about how the characters got to where they are. In flashback sequences, we learn more about how Deborah's parents met and married. The land discussions are crucial to the plot in more ways than one. The mystery has a satisfying conclusion. I received an ARC for this book - it'll be out next month. I like this series. I especially enjoy learning more about North Carolina and watching the characters develop and grow. This is a good entry in the series, as we learn a little more about how the characters got to where they are. In flashback sequences, we learn more about how Deborah's parents met and married. The land discussions are crucial to the plot in more ways than one. The mystery has a satisfying conclusion.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Grossi

    You know how you see something that looks really yummy on a menu - picture, description fit you to a tee. You wait, your order comes, you take that first bite and, well, it's mediocre at best. Then you think. it has to get better, so you keep chewing, but, nope, it just stays mediocre. Kudos to the cover designer and the synopsis writer for this book. They did a much better job than the author. You know how you see something that looks really yummy on a menu - picture, description fit you to a tee. You wait, your order comes, you take that first bite and, well, it's mediocre at best. Then you think. it has to get better, so you keep chewing, but, nope, it just stays mediocre. Kudos to the cover designer and the synopsis writer for this book. They did a much better job than the author.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sallee

    A Southern gem as are all the Deborah Knott mystery novels, this is one of the best. Family history comes to the forefront in Deborah's very large family, centering on how her father, Kezzie Knott met her mother and married her. Bittersweet, this story answers questions for many of Deborah Knott fans. This story also discusses the moonshine past of her father and that relays into the murder that takes place. I gave this a five star because it was such a satisfying read. A Southern gem as are all the Deborah Knott mystery novels, this is one of the best. Family history comes to the forefront in Deborah's very large family, centering on how her father, Kezzie Knott met her mother and married her. Bittersweet, this story answers questions for many of Deborah Knott fans. This story also discusses the moonshine past of her father and that relays into the murder that takes place. I gave this a five star because it was such a satisfying read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sharron

    The plot was acceptable but I subtracted two stars for the lackluster narration of this audio book. I had anticipated hearing C. J. Critt, who is stellar, but got the author herself instead. With a few exceptions, think Tina Fey in Bossypants, author narrations are awful. So, too, was this one. Flat and soporific. Margaret Maron can write a good story but she should leave the narration of it to professionals.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sheryl

    I gather this is the end of the Deborah Knott series, and it honors the spirit of the 19 novels that came before it. I enjoyed the interwoven chapters of the backstory of Deborah's parents. I felt the resolution of the mystery itself was a little fuzzy, but I'm scoring it 5 stars, just because I've enjoyed this series so much, particularly for the characters. I gather this is the end of the Deborah Knott series, and it honors the spirit of the 19 novels that came before it. I enjoyed the interwoven chapters of the backstory of Deborah's parents. I felt the resolution of the mystery itself was a little fuzzy, but I'm scoring it 5 stars, just because I've enjoyed this series so much, particularly for the characters.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Holly Shippey

    So good! I love this series. Always a good mystery in the setting of North Carolina and for me it is the characters. This book tells you more of the history of Kezzie and Sue Knott, how they met and fell in love. It is a sweet story and the ending is so touching.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    Two stories occurring at once set about sixty years apart. The main story concerns a body a murdered man found by Kezzie Knott on the family farm. The second follows the meeting and courtship of Judge Deborab Knott's parents. The book does contain some sexual situations. Two stories occurring at once set about sixty years apart. The main story concerns a body a murdered man found by Kezzie Knott on the family farm. The second follows the meeting and courtship of Judge Deborab Knott's parents. The book does contain some sexual situations.

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