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Home Fires (Deborah Knott #6)

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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  1,454 ratings  ·  49 reviews
At a stop along her campaign trail, Judge Deborah Knott attends a community picnic at the Mr. Olive Church. When the historic building is destroyed by a fire shortly after the outing -- and the charred skeleton of a young man is found among the ashes -- Knott begins her own investigation into the tragedy. Earlier national news reports of a fire at a local African-American ...more
Hardcover, 1st edition, 243 pages
Published January 1st 1998 by Mysterious Press
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Kilian Metcalf
May 26, 2013 Kilian Metcalf rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kilian by: Mary Ronan Drew
Judge Knott is back home in Colleton County where she belongs. She's nesting now, building her own home on a parcel of land her daddy deeded her. She needs the privacy now for visits from her beau. Another great mystery from a master.
Sandra
I really enjoyed this book, Margaret Maron adds alittle bit of history, humor and family in all the books I've read of hers so far...and its a delightful cozy mystery, that keeps you guessing and often surprises you when you find out the culprit. This is book 6.

From Amazon:
Margaret Maron has brought to life the landscape and people, the history and current concerns of a contemporary South. As akin to Carson McCullers and William Faulkneras she is to her fellow mystery writers, Maron now conti
...more
Ellen Moore
This book dealt with the burning of three black churches in Colleton County, NC. Again we learned more about Deborah's family members and also her relationship with other professionals in the judicial system. Deborah was having a house built for herself on land she purchased from her father. With all these things occurring, she still managed to assist the Sheriff's Department in investigating and solving several murders that occurred. I continue to enjoy this series and the homey setting in NC.
Cam
Judge Knott once again has an amazing ability to overhear just enough conversations to figure things out just before the officials do. Even so, this series is more about the setting, the changing times, and the slow progress in Judge Knott and her extended family. In this one, 3 African-American churches are burned in a short period and one of her nephew's is tied to one for sure and his 2 friends to the others. Lots of musings on race in America and North Carolina and the importance of land and ...more
Joyce Lagow
6th in the Judge Deborah Knott series set in North Carolina.[return][return]The story opens with Deborah and her father, Kezzie Knott, racing to the scene of a burning church. Deborah risks her life to save a treasured Bible, hymn books and other objects from the church, as volunteer firemen battle the blaze ineffectively, as the old and tinder-dry building burns to the ground. The church is home to a black congregation; the fire is clearly arson, and the obvious conclusion is that it is a hate ...more
Jen
A cemetary vandalism leads townspeople to believe a pair of teens are burning churches. One of those burnings results in murder, and Judge Deborah Knott is determined to find out the truth.

This novel seemed to start off rather slow. Looking back now, I see that it was very strong in character development, not as strong in plot development.

The character of Deborah was rather humorous. First of all she is “Judge Knott” in a book with strong religious references and racial issues – a la “Judge not
...more
LJ
HOME FIRES (Traditional Mystery-North Carolina-Cont) - VG
Maron, Margaret – 6th in series
Mysterious Press, 1998 – Hardcover
Judge Deborah Knott’s nephew and his two friends are arrested for damaging gravestones and paint spraying racial slurs and symbols on them. A black church, on which similar symbols have been sprayed, is burned the three are immediate suspects. When a second church is burned and people die, Deborah is determined to find the culprit before racial violence breaks out.
*** It had
...more
Patty
Judge Deborah Knott is once again entangled in a murder and her extended family, friends and co-workers are all out there trying to help her solve it.

Three black churches are burned, two completely, one just damaged and in the ashes of the damaged church the body of the sexton is found. Deborah's nephew A.K. is initially a suspect but ends up with an alibi for the 2nd and 3rd church so he is off the hook but his two friends are soon up on murder charges, and because this was a church burning the
...more
Caitlin
It's turning out that I don't enjoy the home-county stories quite as much as those taking place in other parts of NC, perhaps because they hit too close to the character and those she holds dear. Deborah's nephew is in trouble with the law for vandalism, but he's at risk of being indicted in more serious cases when a string of black churches are set fire. As AK sees what it's like to spend weekends in jail, Deborah finds herself doing some of Dwight's detective work and meeting with some old acq ...more
Nell
Superb! I had mixed feelings about Margaret Maron after reading the first in this series, Bootlegger's Daughter - intrigued but uneasy with how African -American characters were made invisible. I'm so glad I stuck with this writer; she keeps getting better and I am richly rewarded. This is the South I know told from a different perspective: the casual prejudice, the social segregation by choice, the smoldering flames of racism. It's all there in a mater-of-fact, this is how it is way. The charac ...more
Janice
A nice visit with Deborah Knott and her big clan. Deborah heads to a church dinner (it's campaign season) and soon after the church burns down and one body is discovered (and then another). Soon after two other African-American churches are burned by the same racists. Deborah delves into race relations and local history to try to solve the murders.

At this time, she is dating Kidd and building her house on her Dad's land while still living with her aunt and uncle. She and Dwight are friends. And
...more
Jan
Another great book in an engaging series. This one does a good job of delivering a mystery while delving into issues of race.
Brenda
Mar 16, 2015 Brenda added it
Shelves: read-2015
Nice cozy mystery.
Jessica
Enjoyed, as usual
Could do without the small sex scenes though
Jamie Brooks
I was originally going to give this only 3 stars because I had a hard time getting into this, but I realized it was my fault because I was reading two other books at the same time lol. Once I focused on this book I started to enjoy it. I am liking Debroah as a character, but I also like the other characters so I am glad there is info on all the characters. I was totally thrown for a loop with the ending though.
Sandy Weir
I was not able to read the Deborah Knott books in sequence, but they are relatively easy to adjust into the mind's timeline. This particular book examines racial issues in various perspectives (legal, community, religious, family to name a few). I particularly like Maron's introduction of the beautiful and illusive Cyl and her reflections on her own brother Andrew and his son A.K.
Joyce Lagow
One of my favorites in the series. Filled with the kind of North Carolina local color that makes this series so special. Maron tackles head on the racism that still exists in the South and shows how that cuts both ways. But she is never polemical--it's all part of the story, part of Knott's reactions, and is perfectly blended into the story without becoming in the least shrill.
Barbara
Very good book. I really like the heroine, Judge Deborah Knott, who gets involved in solving murders, but most of the time, avoids the overt nosiness and recklessness most cozy heroines display. This is not a cozy mystery - this has more thought and was probably timely politically when it was written, the story involving the burning of black churches in the south.


Kellie
#6 of the Deborah Knott series-This was not one of the better ones. This was about church burnings in Deborah’s home town. Her nephew was under suspicion so naturally, Deborah has to stick her nose in. There is something missing in these books. This one just seemed to drag on and on and I was really bored. Couldn’t wait to finish it.
Ann
Opening with the burning of a black church, author Margaret Maron skillfully draws us into the life of Judge Deborah Knott weaving together themes of racism, family, small town living, and what it means to be a woman in the south.

Visit my blog for a more complete review Book Keeping.

Lisa Wakefield
I'd rate it 3.5, but will round it up to 4 stars because it's such a pleasure to discover a well-written mystery with a strong central character. Even better, it's a series! I'm looking forward to reading many more Deborah Knott mysteries - I'm sure it will take more than a few to figure out her huge, tangled family.
Amylou1977
From the time she first met beautiful, brainy and black ADA Cyl DeGraffenried, Deborah Knott has wondered why she wasted her talents on Colleton County. As black churches begin to burn, she discovers the shocking answer to her questions. Named by Publishers Weekly as a Best Book of 1998.
Debra
Deborah works to solve a mystery involving the burning of three black churches in Colleton County. She's also building a house where she and Kidd can spend some time alone. When one body and then another turns up in the ashes of a burned church, Deborah's sleuthing takes center stage.
Bonnie
I wanted to give this book a 3.5. It is #6 in the Deborah Knott series. This was my least favorite so far ....black church burnings in Deborah’s home town and Deborah's nephew and his friends are suspects.
Jamey
"One place the two Souths - black and white - meet is Judge Deborah Knott's courtroom."

This is a mystery involving "a crisis of race and region and other burning issues of the heart".

An easy read.
Jen
One of my least favorite M. Maron books so far. Glad I didn't start with this one or I wouldn't have read anything else by this author. But I know this isn't the norm so I'll keep reading...
Tracy
The cast of characters and small Southern town setting are more entertaining than the actual mystery, but I'm grateful that a contractor (who I hired) recommended this series to me.
Lesley
This was an enjoyable audiobook, not exactly action packed, but still enjoyable. I liked the references to the Triangle area of North Carolina in this book as well.
Jeanne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
B
FM In this book, Deborah Knott, the judge, investigates the burning down of black churches in her area. Intriguing mystery.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Deborah Knott (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Bootlegger's Daughter (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #1)
  • Southern Discomfort (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #2)
  • Shooting at Loons (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #3)
  • Up Jumps the Devil (Deborah Knott, #4)
  • Killer Market (Deborah Knott Mysteries #5)
  • Storm Track (Deborah Knott Mysteries #7)
  • Uncommon Clay (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #8)
  • Slow Dollar (Deborah Knott Mysteries #9)
  • High Country Fall (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #10)
  • Rituals of the Season (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #11)
Bootlegger's Daughter (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #1) 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)

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