Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hard Row” as Want to Read:
Hard Row
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hard Row (Deborah Knott Mysteries #13)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  2,129 Ratings  ·  138 Reviews
As Judge Deborah Knott presides over a case involving a barroom brawl, it becomes clear that deep resentments over race, class, and illegal immigration are simmering just below the surface in the countryside. An early spring sun has begun to shine like a blessing on the fertile fields of North Carolina, but along with the seeds sprouting in the thawing soil, violence is gr ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published August 22nd 2007 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2007)
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 Hard Row, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Hard Row

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I still like her - good plots, politics, characters, setting. A fast & fun read.
Richard Brand
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like all of Deborah Knott stories I have read, this one focuses on a particular aspect of life. This was farming. Within that large topic there was a piece about her family farming and a piece about migrant workers and farming. This was probably the most gruesome murder story that Dwight Bryant has had in the series. There were lots of little side issues like the new arrangement for Mr. Bryant's son living with them. If you are reading the Knott series, you are well aware of the nice gentle huma ...more
Mar 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deborah and Dwight are dealing with being both newlyweds and full-time parents while both are trying to keep up with very challenging jobs. When stray body parts start showing up all over Colleton County Dwight is chasing leads and Deborah is trying to help while not getting in the way of the investigations.

There are at least three different stories running through this story as well as another two or three as subtext. It is that layering and weaving together of lives in and around crime and pun
Jan 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in he series which I have come across. It was a quick and enjoyable read and I will certainly pick up more in this series. Deborah is a judge and a newlywed who has just become a full time step mom as a result if the unfortunate death of her new husbands ex-wife. She is faced with issues related to racism , sexism, and poor work environments
Of Foreign farm workers. Her position as a judge puts her in contact with many of the same people her husband encounters in his role a
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pieces of a body keep making appearances all over the backroads of the county. Dwight and his team having trouble with an identity because there are legs, arms, hands (even an extra) but no head, at first. Plus they are looking for a missing man from nursing home. Deborah handling a divorce of fairly well-off farmers. Plus Portland's been trying to keep a client's husband away from her, but he isn't obeying the restraining order. (she has baby and just back at work)

Dwight and Deborah are newly w
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
These kind of feel like they have shifted from Deborah Knott mysteries to Dwight Bryant mysteries over the last couple of books. We're getting all the details from Dwight; following him and his deputies around as clues about the case are being gathered. And then Deborah swoops in somewhere at the end and puts all the pieces together for them because some key piece of information has fallen in her lap. Not necessarily a bad thing, since Dwight is also a great character, but definitely has changed ...more
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Judge Deborah Knott has her plate full as usual, but so does new hubby, chief deputy Dwight Bryant, after a pair of legs are discovered in a ditch. Dwight’s workload multiplies when more limbs are found, along with the body of a senior who’d gone missing from a retirement home.

It’s been many years since I read a Margaret Maron novel and I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed her style. The writing is informal, yet sophisticated. Every sentence flows beautifully into the next. I especially liked the wa
Rela Edwards
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before you go

As usual Margaret Maron has kept me reading until the book was finished. In this book Maron shows the plight of migrant farm hands, which is very apropos in today's political climate.
Joyce Lagow
Feb 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mutilated body parts from the hacked up torso of a white male appear on the back roads of Colleton County, North Carolina. An intense search is initiated for the identity of the victim and of the killer.[return][return]The plot line in this, the 13th of the Judge Deborah Knott series, is almost straight police procedural involving Knott's newly wed husband, Doug Bryant, head of the Colleton County Sheriff's detective department. Deborah becomes involved since the victim and his wife appeared in ...more
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really like Margaret Maron's mysteries, as I've said in the past, and they just keep getting better with each book. Hard Row dealt with a murder, on a large farm and migrant workers, death of a baby, pesticides and much more. Ms. Maron keeps you guessing until the very end, and with Judge Deborah Knott sleuthing abit in the background. Great read! This is number 13 in the series.

From Amazon:
As Judge Deborah Knott presides over a case involving a barroom brawl, it becomes clear that deep res
HARD ROW (Mystery-Police Proc-Deborah Knott-North Carolina-Cont) – VG
Maron, Margaret – 13th in series
Warner Books, 2007, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 044658433
First Sentence: El Toro Negro sits net to an abandoned tobacco warehouse a few feet inside the Dobbs city limits.
*** Judge Deborah Knot has a case before her dealing with race, class and illegal immigration. For her new husband, Sheriff’s Deputy Dwight Bryant, tt starts with the discovery to two bare legs. Than a hand and, literally bit-by-bit, ot
Agatha Donkar
I think this book was pretty good; I mean, most of Maron's are, because she's a good writer and she knows Deborah Knott's part of North Carolina like the back of her hand, but early on in the pages of this, I was blind-sided by a secondary, minor character who appears in Deborah Knott's courtroom and that pretty much overshadowed the rest of the book for me.

My aunt's best friend was a woman named Linda Allred. Linda taught psychology at ECU, treated me like an adult even when I was a self-center
Dec 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After "The Flanders Panel" I needed a fun read. Maron never disappoints, especially for me who was born and raised within 25 miles of the mythical Colleton county, North Carolina, where Maron sets her Deborah Knott mysteries. This one is typical, far more interested in relationships than with the murder mystery. By relationships, I mean the whole gamut: with her husband, with her stepson, with her enormous family, with her coterie of lifelong friends, with her colleagues,even race relations.

Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have somehow missed reading about Judge Deborah Knott up to this point. This is apparently the 13th book in the series. I'm debating whether I should add the series to my list of books to read. The prime motivator, besides being a generally good, character-driven story, is that I have family in the general area.

This one finds Deborah presiding over several interrelated cases: a domestic abuse case, a nasty divorce, and immigrant-worker issues. Her husband, Dwight, is the sheriff and has some i
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Time to catch up with Judge Deborah Knott. She has been very busy in the months since her marriage to the Colleton County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Dwight Bryant. In fact, the previous book in the series, together with the next three, cover the year after the wedding. Wow. Lots of people get murdered before their first anniversary. But Margaret Maron has a winning formula, so who's counting?

Among the ingredients: A bright professional woman in a healthy relationship with a good-looking, capable law
Jun 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i need a new one when is the next one coming out?

As Judge Deborah Knott presides over a case involving a barroom brawl, it becomes clear that deep resentments over race, class, and illegal immigration are simmering just below the surface in the North Carolina countryside. Soon after, a farmer known for his harsh treatment of migrant workers is found brutally murdered. The search for the killer leads Deborah and her new husband, Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant, into the desperate realm of undocume
Kathleen Hagen
A Hard Row, by Margaret Maron. A. Rented from Recorded Books.
A visit with Judge Deborah Knott and her family. There is a murder and a mystery to be solved here. Body parts start appearing, but no one has been declared missing. Deborah and Dwight work together to determine whose body it is. And of course then work out who the murderer is. This book is mainly about environmental issues caused by the raising of tobacco and the sprays used for crops, and the poor standard of living of most of the un
Kevin Kern
May 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do love Margaret Maron and her Deborah Knott books. Every one touches on something topical; this one was pesticides and migrant worker abuse. It is also 10 years old, and many of the same problems, still exist in today's farms. I am going to finish the series, intermingled with other books, until she writes a new one. I have to go back and write a review of the last 2, also. I would not have finished 2 books in one day, but they were both easy reads. When I have those, I often leave one in the ...more
Dec 12, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking for a cozy, (a character driven mystery story that focuses on the people involved as much as the mystery) look no further. I'm glad I listened to the audiobook version. It's slow pace is well suited to being told, rather than read.

When I read it I thought it was the first in the series. Come to find out, it's the 13th. Oops. Originally, I was willing to forgive some of the slowness as setting the scene - but by book 13, the scene is already well set. The writing is okay, and t
Jan 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers, appreciators of the South
Shelves: mysteries, just-read
Margaret Maron's first novel in the Judge Deborah Knott series, BOOTLEGGER'S DAUGHTER, won the Edgar for Best First Novel, and the series just keeps getting better. With the Judge's marriage to a sheriff's deputy, elements of the police procedural creep in to the amateur sleuth format, and it's a good addition. Ms. Maron is also not afraid to tackle the various social problems of the New South (not that they aren't problems elsewhere, but North Carolina is where her books are set). In this one, ...more
Nov 24, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, mystery
I was truly disappointed a couple of books ago when the point-of-view shifted from solely Deborah's first-person to third-person-omniscient (rotating viewpoints). Maron got a pass on the last book owing to the plot that threw Dwight and Deborah together in the same dangerous situation, so I wasn't too bothered. This book confirmed what I'd feared would happen to the series: Dwight goes off fighting crime, while Deborah comments every so often, from her new role as working wife and step-mother. I ...more
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-series
When I started this book, I wasn't sure how much I would really enjoy it. However, I was pleasantly surprised.
As the new, expanded Bryant-Knott family gets settled in, Dwight is pulled away to deal with a pair of legs that were found in a ditch. It only gets more morose as other body parts are found...and not all from the same person. Meanwhile, Deborah is balancing a tough divorce ED while learning how to mother Calvin (and discovering her own love of hockey). This book touches upon the tricky
I listened to the audio version of this book. Its been years since I've read one of the Deborah Knott mysteries, but I liked this one. The plot involved several social issues including harsh treatment of immigrant farm workers, domestic violence and eldercare. I also enjoyed the backstory of Deborah's large extended family and her father's efforts to keep the younger generations tied to the family's land. Having lived in North Carolina for several years, I was amused by Deborah's reference to Ca ...more
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#13 in the Deborah Knott series. Deborah is a judge in Eastern NC's Colleton County in the vicinity of state capital, Raleigh. She has married Major Dwight Bryant of the Sheriff's Department.

Deborah Knott and Dwight Bryant are adjusting to newlywed life and the presence of Dwight's son. Body parts are turning up in the area and complicating Dwight's life. Secondary plots include concern for the plight of migrant workers and efforts of Deborah's farm based family to find a replacement crop for to
Pete Loveday
I enjoyed the 'folksy' style of this book and had to remind myself that in fact it was a police procedural mystery. The story was interesting, if not gripping, and the characters were believable and yet challenging. The geographical setting fascinated me and I became more interested in the farming techniques and the many characters that flowed through the story, than in the development of the solving of the murder.
a pleasant read.
Jul 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Judge Deborah Knott is aware of the strange happenings in her county. Body parts are found at different locations causing speculation of a serial killer. As her husband, Deputy Dwight Bryant, investigates the cases, Deborah adds some of her findings to the case. The treatment of foreign farm workers, illegal immigrants, and the results of unsafe use of farm chemicals are also part of this story.
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Margaret Maron writes contemporary cozy mysteries set in North Carolina. Her protagonist is Deborah Knott, a district court judge. She offers local color as well as local issues. "Hard Row" deals with the complexities of undocumented farm laborers. The book gives you the fun of trying to figure out the mystery, plus some insight into a current problem. I liked it so much, I am now on my third Margaret Maron mystery.
I loved this book. The plot turned unexpectedly, all the while taking me back to the Good Ol' North State, my birth state. Loved how Margaret Maron blends the Carolina style into everything from hockey and home, food and family, dialect and characters. I especially loved her character, Dr. Linda Allred, who in real life, is my late sister. Margaret Maron truly captured my late sister's personality on paper. "Hard Row" is a very good read, all the way to the end.
Kilian Metcalf
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kilian by: Mary Ronan Drew
The real Margaret Maron escaped from wherever she was being held captive while the previous book was published without her and has come roaring back in strength. This is one of her best yet. A tight, well-designed mystery, and lots of character development for Deborah. This isn't a spoiler, only my best guess: I'm thinking Deborah is going to be hearing the patter of little feet soon or dealing with the ticking of her biological clock. Just sayin'
Sep 09, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I think Maron was trying a bit too hard with this one--she attempted to address the exploitation of undocumented farm workers, environmental hazards and damage in agriculture, and the changing US economy (through the microcosym of a Southern rural area) while simultaneously craft a murder mystery with lots of grisly descriptions of body parts. Too much for one book, I felt, although some of it worked pretty well.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Lavender Lies (China Bayles, #8)
  • Snipe Hunt (Professor Simon Shaw, #2)
  • Watery Grave (Sir John Fielding, #3)
  • Last Respects (Inspector Sloan #10)
  • April Fool Dead (Death on Demand, #13)
  • Mallets Aforethought (Home Repair is Homicide, #7)
  • One Was a Soldier (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #7)
  • Southern Ghost (Death on Demand, #8)
  • Murder Shoots the Bull (Southern Sisters, #6)
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 Mysteries (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 Mystery, #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)