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Bootlegger's Daughter (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #1)
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Bootlegger's Daughter (Deborah Knott #1)

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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  4,323 ratings  ·  262 reviews
Attorney Deborah Knott is running for district judge in good-old-boy-ruled Colleton County, N.D.
Paperback, 3rd printing edition, 261 pages
Published June 1st 1993 by Grand Central Publishing (first published May 1st 1992)
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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
Shaun
This was quite good for what it is. I enjoy mysteries, but they're not my absolute favorite relatively speaking (not their fault of course, but there are just so many books and so little time). Still, this was quite satisfying, and I can see why it swept the Mystery awards the year it came out.

The protagonist Deborah Knott has just enough moxy and sass to win your respect but also enough vulnerability and insecurity to keep her interesting. The other characters were also well-drawn and fun. Maro
...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
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
Carmen
Nov 19, 2013 Carmen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
Recommended to Carmen by: Library
Shelves: mystery, fiction
A good mystery book. The first in the Deborah Knott series. A good look at the South. I like the main character. She is realistic and not too sexy. She is intelligent. The only problem I had with the book is that there are about a billion characters and it's really hard to keep them all straight. Surprise ending. Very well-written. Main themes: discrimination against homosexuals, discrimination against women, discrimination against African-Americans.
LJ
BOOTLEGGER'S DAUGHTER - Ex
Maron, Margaret - 1st in series

Deborah Knott is an attorney and the daughter of an infamous North Carolina bootlegger. Known for her knowledge of the region's past and popular with the locals, Deb is asked by 18-year-old Gayle Whitehead to investigate the unsolved murder of her mother Janie, who died when Gayle was an infant. While visiting the owner of the property where Janie's body was found, Deb learns of Janie's more-than-promiscuous past. Piecing together lost clu
...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
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.
Randee Baty
This mystery has what many of the ones I've been reading lately have missed. Atmosphere, a mystery as the central part of the plot, and heart. Those things seem to be in short supply these days.

Deborah Knott is a southern attorney and decides that she wants to run for judge. Her father is the bootlegger in the title, obviously, which has interesting connotations for a law-and-order citizen like Deborah. A friend of Deborah's asks for Deborah's help to solve the 20 year old murder of the friend's
...more
Sandra
My first Margaret Maron mystery, and I loved it. Its a series set in North Carolina, with lots of "good old boys" and Southern sass, and a judge(Deborah Knott)that can keep up with all of them, smart, sassy, and strong. I'm reading the second book now, Southern Discomfort and enjoying it as much as the first book. Ms. Maron has a way with words, and a gifted storyteller.

From Amazon:
Deborah Knott was expected to be a conventional little girl and eventually a conventional woman, worshipped on a p
...more
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
Michael
North Carolina in the 1970s still had strained relationships between black and whites. Opinions about gay lifestyles weren't something that was spoken about.

In 1977, two workingmen find the body of a murdered woman and her small child, who was still alive.

In 1990, defense attorney, Deborah Knott, sees legal injustice by a judge in his courtroom. His prejudice against blacks was so obvious that Deborah decided to run against the judge in the upcoming elections.

Jed Whitehead is a childhood friend
...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.
Kristen
If you like a taste of Southern fiction into your mystery series, you'll enjoy the first of Deborah Knott books, the Bootlegger's Daughter by Margaret Maron. This starts off with Deborah Knott running for office as a judge, when Gayle Whitehead asks her to look into the cold case murder of her mother. And when she does, it turns out a lot of heat by unearthing secrets and possible damaging her campaign for judge. Great twits and turns to the very end, this is a delightful new mystery series.
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
Betty410
This is the first a series involving Deborah Knott, a small N.Carolina town lawyer who in the starting pages becomes disgusted with a judge's decision that was too harsh and showed via against a colored man. So she decides to apply for a judgeship.
Deborah is a member of a very large family with with firm roots in the area. The author ably gives insight into the "workings" of inner Southern areas, knowledge of family history and customs, importance of church and respect for authorities. All this
...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
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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)
  • 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)
  • Home Fires (Deborah Knott Mysteries #6)
  • 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)
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)

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