Bootlegger's Daughter (A Deborah Knott Mystery, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Bootlegger's Daughter (Deborah Knott #1)

by
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  3,845 ratings  ·  237 reviews
This smart, sassy series introduces Deborah Knott, candidate for district judge--and daughter of an infamous bootlegger. Deborah's campaigning is interrupted when disturbing new evidence surrrounding a murder that has never been solved surfaces and she is implored to investigate.
Hardcover, 1st Ed, 272 pages
Published May 1st 1992 by Mysterious Press
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bootlegger's Daughter, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Bootlegger's Daughter

One for the Money by Janet EvanovichChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukePleating for Mercy by Melissa BourbonA is for Alibi by Sue GraftonFatal Fixer-Upper by Jennie Bentley
First books of some good cozy series
36th out of 307 books — 363 voters
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonOne for the Money by Janet EvanovichA is for Alibi by Sue GraftonDéjà Dead by Kathy ReichsThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Fearless Females
39th out of 388 books — 482 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Mary Ronan Drew
When Bootlegger's Daughter was published in 1992 it won Dilys, Macavity, Anthony, and Edgar awards. That's an impressive record, so I borrowed the book from the library. I loved it, partly because it takes place in the area of North Carolina where I lived for some years and the author, who lives there also, has the local color perfect. Eating Carolina barbecue (with vinegar) and watching a Durham Bull's game on a warm summer evening, admiring the azaleas and dogwoods, big summer picnics with gue...more
Joyce Lagow
First book in Maron's series starring Deborah Knott, and set in eastern North Carolina farm country. The murder plot is actually almost a subset in the overall story of Knott's electoral race for District Judge.[return][return]Maron evokes what certainly appears to me (someone who has never spent any real time in North Carolina) both a sense of the place and a sense of the people. There are those of the "old" South--actively prejudied against blacks, from cops to judges and beyond--and then you...more
Nikki
I'd read this book soon after it first came out, but my memory was a bit hazy, and in any case my "rules" for the Edgar Best Novel project include re-reading the books I've already read. It was a real treat to re-read this one, especially after reading the "prequel" (actually a stand-alone) Bloody Kin. I knew , having kept up with Judge Deborah Knott, that her character had grown and changed a lot over the years, but reading this book reinforced how much that was true. Deborah is 34 in this book...more
Jake
There is a good writer within Margaret Maron. Her dialogue is solid, her characters are three-dimensional, and her settings are vividly described. Unfortunately, I felt that she wasted far too much time talking about North Carolina high society (same issue I had with New Orleans Mourning) and too little talking about the mystery, which became kind of obvious after awhile. I'm probably shorting this book a star to be spiteful but I wanted a solid murder mystery, not a romp through lifestyles of t...more
Terri
Loved this book. Deborah Knott is running for District judge in a NC county. Daughter of the local bootlegger, she is well known in the community. When a girl she used to babsysit for asks her to look into her mother's death when she was a baby, she gets involved in very old secrets. The community flavor and characters are very believable and intersting. And I really like Deborah and wanted to cheer her on in the political race. This is a very good read and I cant beleive it took me so long to g...more
Lin Stepp
If you have not discovered Margaret Maron's mystery series about Deborah Knott, a judge in a small North Carolina town, then run out and get this first book in the series. I have read it and all the others in the series and all are truly wonderful and entertaining. Deborah's setting, her big family of brothers, and all her kin folks and small town friends will come alive for you ... and her mystery line will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Jana
From my first reading of Bootlegger's Daughter, I have enjoyed it as a family saga first and a mystery second. And, as I read some of the other reviews, I realize that some others have reverse priorities.

The series' strength, in my view, is as saga of a large North Carolina rural family, from the reformed(?) bootlegger patriarch to the nieces and nephews of his many children, but with Deborah Knott--youngest, only daughter with 12 brothers, and an attorney--as central protagonist. The first boo...more
Linda
After reading this first-in-a-series mystery by Margaret Maron, I'm a new fan. Set in North Carolina and featuring spunky attorney and wanna-be district judge Deborah Knott, the story about her search for the solution to a 20 year old murder of a woman she once babysat for is a good one, filled with wit as well as interesting characters. It was a fun way to spend a few hours of reading.
Eloise
This was the first book we read in our Mystery Book Club. We got to speak to Margaret Maron on the speaker phone. It made the book more interesting learning some of the thought behind it. I didn't love the book. Maybe it is because I lived in Eastern NC where the book takes place. But much of it seems authentic. I just thought there were too many controversial sub-plots. If you put so many things in it, everyone will like something. But I wil try another of the Deborah Knott books.
Sharon
The first in the Deborah Knott series, this book charmed me because of its setting, eastern North Carolina. We lived in Smithfield (Johnston County) four years about ten years before this book is set, and everything about the setting rings true. In fact, until the plot started to move fairly quickly, I was often distracted by my attempts to match locations in the author's imaginary Colleton County with the real geography of the area. The mystery, too, based on class, family secrets, and the more...more
Caroline
Exceptionally well written mystery - defines the term 'page turner'. So happy there are more in the series!
Mary
Margaret Maron's Deborah Knott books take me to home to North Carolina
Catherine Woodman
I love Judge Deborah--this is a good book in the series
Donna
I read this book because it was selected by my book club, though I'm still trying to figure out why they selected it. It is what you might call a cozy criminal mystery with an attorney playing private detective as a favor to someone she used to babysit for years ago. But I didn't find it too cozy a story with all the unlikable characters and their prejudices directed at people who were different from them in gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation.

This story takes place in North Carolina...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
A blurb inside by mystery writer Loren Estelman compared Maron to Flannery O'Connor, Hemingway and Faulkner. Another described the protagonist and first person narrator, Dorothy Knott, as Scout of To Kill a Mockingbird, all grown up. I don't think this book is in that league at all.

Yes, this is set in the American South, in North Carolina, and the author is good at choosing and using details to evoke that setting and in reproducing the rhythms of speech of that region. But all in all I'd say th...more
Geoff
You have to love a book with its first chapter titled “Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down.” I’m not positive but I think most of the chapters were song lyrics and most of them made me smile. Bootlegger’s Daughter takes place in a fictional rural county of North Carolina which vaguely resembles the surrounding counties where I grew up (thank you I-95).

As a part of my Junior AP Literature class we went to my local library (a link over on the right) and heard Ms. Maron speak. Afterward I rem...more
Jerry
Far more development than "Sigrid", classic Maron...

We have opined here and elsewhere that Margaret Maron is a fine enough writer to convey just about whatever mood, ideas, or setting she wishes. Despite that skill, her eight Sigrid Harald mysteries are a little dry -- skillful plots and good detective work seem to hold one's attention, but the entertainment factor is a little low. All that goes away with the 1992 debut of rural North Carolina's attorney (and judge wannabe) Deborah Knott. From...more
Abbey
Nice beginning to the long series, with well-plotted, good strong characters, and a fast enough pace. Attorney Deborah Knott, in a difficult political race (running to be elected judge) gets involved in an old murder case, with deadly results.

Atmosphere and dialects are a touch too "down-home" for my taste, but not to the annoying point, and won't bother most folks - I just have a low threshold for dialect. The setting is evoked superbly: rural small town, farms big and small, many, many family...more
Jackie
Bootleggers Daughter by Margaret Maron

I saw a review of this series of books set in North Carolina, and I was instantly attracted to it, so I sourced the first few in the series.
This is the first book, and the main character is Deborah Knott, an attorney in Coleen County. An unconventional lady, daughter of the county’s biggest producer of moonshine – or so the rumours go! She is unmarried and a working woman, not at all as she was supposed to turn out and so an on going source of contention bet...more
Caitlin
Recommended by Recorded Books Inc. after my last Anna Pigeon novel, and unable to find the next in the series on audio, I decided to pick up this one. It was well worth it. Deborah Knott has much of the charm of Anna Pigeon with the addition of southern charm and spirituality.
As Deborah starts her campaign to go from local attorney to local judge, she is approached with a request to dig up an 18-year-old murder and attempt to solve it. Unable to decline, Deborah finds herself wallowing through a...more
Jennifer
This is the first in the Judge Deborah Knott mystery series that is this year's selection for Durham Reads Together, the county library's community reading event. I'd heard lots about this series and its NC author and had thought I'd like to try it sometime. I'm glad I did! After a couple works of heavier literary fiction (Life of Pi, Swamplandia!), I was ready for something on the lighter side. It's a fine mystery--if not too involved, it still has a couple twists to keep you on your toes. And...more
Mike
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Connie Knight
Bootlegger's Daughter by Margaret Maron is the first book in the Deborah Knott Mystery series, now up to eighteen. Published in 1992, it won the annual Edgar Award for best novel, and certainly deserved it.

It's set in fictional Colleton County in North Carolina, established in her 1986 stand-alone mystery, Bloody Kin. Deputy Sheriff Dwight Bryant, his family, and his office staff, are established in Bootlegger's Daughter. He's been a friend of Deborah and her eleven brothers since childhood, and...more
Vickie
I read this first in the Deborah Knott series a while back. It must have been a long while back as it was practically like a brand new book for me! It could be that I am getting older and I've pushed some knowledge and memories out to make room for new schtuff....nah...I read it a really really long time ago.....
Deborah Knott is a lawyer in Colleton County, North Carolina and is running for district court judge after a run in with a definite justice is not blind judge. She has one or two things...more
Babs
This is the first book in the series about Judge Deborah Knott. We find out in this book how Deborah becomes a judge. It’s a bit disappointing. Rather than being elected, turns out she gets her seat do to some machinations of her father, the aforementioned bootlegger. We’ll, I guess these things do happen in the real world. At least she is qualified to be a judge and has professed her intention to be as fair and just as humanly possible; trying to put aside her prejudices and feelings.

Though di...more
Becca
Jul 22, 2008 Becca rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Modern Pulp mystery lovers
This novel won so many awards (Edgar, Agatha, Macavity, Anothy) that I was expecting something really blow you away fantastic, and it wasn't that. Maron's writing is good bordering on great, but other then in a few key spots it isn't any more then you would expect from a modern pulp detective novelist. I was truly disappointed with the plot. The book was too short, there were really no major suspects other then the one who turns out to have done it, very unsuprising ending. I liked that she wrot...more
Jan
Thank you to my friend Katherine Dunlap for introducing me to this awesome series! When Margaret Maron's Bootlegger's Daughter begins Deborah Knott is an attorney at her extended family's law firm, but cannot always live down her father Kezzie's reputation for producing White Lightning. Maron introduces a lot of family and a few friends in this first book. It was a quick, enjoyable read, and I look forward to learning more about the fictional Colleton County, North Carolina.
Kellie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katherine Clark
This book won all the major awards: Edgar, Agatha, etc. I read this, of course, for the Monograph. It won the Agatha for best novel in 1992. What I like best about the novel is its Southernness. Maron does a great job of establishing/creating the Southern, North Carolina milieu. I love her depiction of race relations and her depiction of gay and lesbian issues, very interesting especially since it was 1992.
AdultFiction Teton County Library
Teton County Library Co: M MARON
Wendi Walton's Rating: 4 Stars

Checked out this book and an old favorite by Agatha Christie at the same time. I was in the mood for a mystery that was not too cheeky, and not full of blood and guts. I wanted something classic and engaging that did not take itself too seriously. I never did re-read that Christie mystery, as the Bootlegger’s Daughter fulfilled all of these requirements. This is the first of a series of mysteries with Deborah Knott as the sleuth. She...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O (Ballad, #1)
  • Not a Creature was Stirring (Gregor Demarkian, #1)
  • A Trouble of Fools (A Carlotta Carlyle Mystery #1)
  • Edwin of the Iron Shoes (Sharon McCone, #1)
  • Murder With Peacocks (Meg Langslow, #1)
  • Fool's Puzzle (Benni Harper, #1)
  • A Grave Talent  (Kate Martinelli, #1)
  • Death and the Lit Chick (A St. Just Mystery, #2)
  • Them Bones (Sarah Booth Delaney, #1)
  • In the Bleak Midwinter (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #1)
  • The Family Vault (Kelling & Bittersohn, #1)
  • Winter And Night (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith #8)
  • New Orleans Mourning (Skip Langdon, #1)
  • The Alpine Advocate (Emma Lord Mystery, #1)
  • Thyme of Death (China Bayles, #1)
  • Dead Man's Island (Henrie O, #1)
  • I.O.U. (Jenny Cain, #7)
  • Malice in Maggody (Arly Hanks, #1)
61762
Born and raised in central North Carolina, Margaret Maron lived in Italy before returning to the USA where she and her husband now live. In addition to a collection of short stories she's also the author of 16 mystery novels. Her works have been translated into seven languages her Bootlegger's Daughter, a Washington Post Bestseller won Edgar Anthony, Agatha, and Macavity awards. She is a past pres...more
More about Margaret Maron...
Shooting at Loons (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #3) Southern Discomfort (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #2) Up Jumps the Devil (Deborah Knott, #4) Hard Row (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #13) Uncommon Clay (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #8)

Share This Book

“Every time we start thinking we're the center of the universe, the universe turns around and says with a slightly distracted air, 'I'm sorry. What'd you say your name was again?” 23 likes
More quotes…