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Shooting at Loons (Deborah Knott Mysteries #3)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  2,637 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
Margaret Maron has garnered both the praise of critics and the raves of satisfied readers for her award-winning Deborah Knott series. The Indianapolis News notes that a Deborah Knott book is "more than just a mystery; it is a portrait of a place." The Houston Chronicle compares Maron's rich description of central North Carolina to the writings of Sarah Orne Jewett and Kate ...more
Paperback, 241 pages
Published June 1st 1995 by Mysterious Press (first published 1994)
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Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, knott
The third in the Deborah Knott series, Shooting at Loons takes place on Harker's Island, North Carolina. As usual, Maron takes a social issue and makes it personal to her characters. In this case, it's the clash among many groups who use the coastal resources--shrimpers, clammers, fisherman, environmentalists, sports fishermen, tourist industry. Maron gives a really good picture of a way of life that is in danger of dying out; there are very good descriptions of the people and culture of Harker' ...more
Dennis Fischman
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Loons are an endangered species. Shooting at loons is illegal. But that doesn't keep folks on Harkers Island from taking their shot. They grew up doing it, and outsiders coming in to regulate their lives just seems like an unwarranted act of arrogance. Besides, loon stew is good eating. And what can it hurt if I bag a bird or two?

Lots of people on Harkers Island and on the shore of North Carolina are taking their shots at getting rich, too, whether it's strictly legal or not. Eventually, a coupl
Mary Ronan Drew
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shooting at Loons by Margaret Maron is the third in her Deborah Knott mystery series and in this book Deborah has been sent pro tem to Beaufort (pronounced BOW - fort, not BYEW - fort like that other place down in South Carolina) to fill in for a judge who is ill. She has a cousin who has a small house on Harkers Island where she can stay. Her neighbors, whom she knows well because she vacationed there every summer when she was a child, are natives of the island some of whose families have been ...more
Jul 02, 2010 rated it liked it
Very light mystery, mostly Outer Banks NC chit chat...

We've noted before, both for this Judge Deborah Knott series (Loons = #3 of 8 {circa 2002}) and the earlier 8-book Sigrid Harald series, that Maron is a fine writer that can do wonders with anything to which she sets her mind and pen. We would probably rate this and the rest of the set higher were it not billed as a mystery. A murder or two occurs, but it seems nobody is chasing clues or suspecting anybody except in the few moments of idle t
I loved this book, it kept me guessing until the very end. So many suspects, and I learned a great deal about life on the water, and the people that make a living there and those who try to take that away. I'm really enjoying Margaret Maron's mysteries, and Judge Deborah Knott's way of somehow becoming involved in and around the people or crime that has been committed. Great reads and now I'm off to start the next story of Southern rural living, and the characters that make you laugh one minute ...more
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
My library had just received several of the Deborah Knott Mysteries on CD. I had never read any of the books so I picked the one with the earliest copyright. I enjoyed the story. It was a very easy going mystery. There was a lot of background about the location and the people who live there. Nothing moved at a fast pace. There was plenty of time to enjoy the story and the characters while wondering who did what. There were several twist as the story progresses. There were things in the story tha ...more
Dec 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
Another 5-star offering from the talented Ms. Maron. This 3rd book in her Judge Deborah Knott series was set on Harker's Island, off the coast of North Carolina, and focused on the fishing industry and the changes wrought by contemporary societal concerns. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and she surprised me with some skillful bait-and-switching at the end; the killer was not who I had picked out! (I love that.)

This series is getting ever better. I genuinely like Judge Knott and her wild, humong
Jamie Brooks
Sep 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010, mystery
I would have given this 5 stars if it wasn't for the ending. I think this is another series that I could definitly get into. I really enjoy the writing style, the characters and the unique plots, buuuuuut I am hoping that all her books don't have a disappointing ending like this one. I mean it wasn't a BAD ending, but it was just diappointing and I closed the book going "really?" I am still going to check out her other books though.
May 06, 2008 rated it liked it
It took me a little while to get "the feel" of the main character (who she is, what's her history, etc.)--perhaps because this is part of a series of books about Judge Deborah Knott, and I haven't read any of the others. Once I got going, however, I began to enjoy her smart, sassy personality. We need more female protagonists like her! :-) The story itself was fairly solid, with a good blend of suspense and personal interest. Not knock-your-socks-off-good, but a pleasant page-turner.
Jun 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm trying to catch up on my reviews, and some will just be perfunctory. I'm removing from surgery, and haven even been doing much reading. I've been enjoying this series by Marion Maron. Deborah Watts, now. Judge, is covering a court near the Carolina coast. If I had been up to snuff, I probably would have given it more stars. With all new characters, it was a test for me to keep them straight, but I learned something about how coastal shell-fishers operate.
Dec 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Nice combination of character development, geographic detail and murder mystery. Actually the murder mystery is almost secondary. The book paints a picture of conflict on the coast of NC - environmentalist, developers, long-time locals, newbies, and a way of life trying to cope with a changing world. She pulls it all off without being preachy....nice.
Barbara B.
Dec 10, 2012 rated it liked it
I just started reading this author in the past year. And since there is a main character (Judge Deborah Knott) I decided to read them in order (and there are over 15 or more). This one was written in 1994, so it's fun to read a story lacking all of today's technology.
Debbie Stone
Mar 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I love the Deborah Knott mystery series!!
Jul 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Light mystery... conservationist vs. recreational fishermen in the industry. unpredictable, little gore. Characters were excellent in the Carolina setting. Good easy read
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the second book I have read in this series. My criticism of the first, 'Southern Discomfort', was that there was no mystery or crime until over halfway through. This is not the case here. I am not giving anything away by saying that a murder has already happened when the book begins, as it is discovered by the end of the first short chapter.

There is a sense of menace and discontent in the community throughout the book, which keeps the interest and widens the number of suspects. Of course
Jun 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
The Deborah Knot series isn't my favorite, but Shooting at Loons is a mystery and I'm a sucker for them. Good story line, quite a bit of suspense and a satisfactory ending. I just wish there were more to each story. There is some background concerning the area of North Carolina, but I wanted more.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I do like this series. The characters are solid and the stories hold together nicely.
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a re-read and I still enjoyed this book.
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shooting At Loons is the third book in a Deborah Knott Mystery series by Margaret Maron following Bootlegger's Daughter and Southern Discomfort. Her first novel won the Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards for 1992. The Indianapolis News noted that a Deborah is "more than just a mystery; it is a portrait of a place." This is so true of Shooting At Loons which takes place North Carolina's lush Crystal Coast, where expensive yachts ride at anchor and fishermen make them living off fishing. ...more
Jan 14, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary mystery
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
When Judge Deborah Knott is asked to substitute for a hospitalized judge in gracious old Beaufort, North Carolina, she is looking forward to spending a restful week at her cousin's cottage on nearby Harkers Island - relative peace and quiet is Deborah's plan for the entire week. However, when her first clamming expedition turns up the corpse of a well-known fisherman in the shallow water, peace and quiet quickly flies out the window. Discovering the body puts her right in the middle of the conte ...more
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Judge Deborah Knott. Except for one book, she seems to get involved in solving the murder/mystery almost accidentally. It seems to evolve as she learns more about the current location she is in (she seems to get loaned out often to other locations in North Carolina to fill in for other judges) and the people she is with. Deborah is not immediately involved in the investigation of the murder of a local that was part of her history as she was growing up; she seems to get more actively invol ...more
#3 of the Knott series- I enjoy these mysteries because of Maron’s unique style. I am always educated while reading one of her books. This one is no exception. Deborah is filling in for another judge in the coastal town of North Carolina coastal town Beaufort. She is staying at a small cabin owned by her cousins on the coast. The murder happens within the first few pages of the book. A local is found shot to death on a sandbar. Deborah and her neighbor’s boy find the body. From that point on, De ...more
Jul 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: brain-candy
Judge Deborah Knott finds herself in the middle of another murder investigation when she goes to the coast to fill in for another judge and discovers a dead body. The body is of the man who was the peacemaker between developers, fishermen, and the tourists. As things become more confusing, Deborah discovers a former lover from law school days in the mix. As she begins to stumble toward the conclusion, she meets a new lover (Kidd -- game warden). When looking for the murderer, look for the hothea ...more
Oct 22, 2007 rated it liked it
I didn't enjoy this novel as much as some of the others in the Deborah Knott series... not sure if it's because I didn't sit down and just read it in one or two sittings as I do with most of Maron's novels, or what. Perhaps, as a result, the plot seemed a bit convoluted at times. Overall, though, it was still a fun read and I did wind up reading the last half or so of the book in one sitting. I thought I had it all figured out, but wound up fairly pleasantly surprised. I'm enjoying this series a ...more
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
a light mystery for any age i found this on my bookshelf recently. what enticed me was the setting, beaufort, n.c. a sleepy seaside village with outlying islands that have been inhabited since the first settlers started arriving from england. old crusty sea salts still ply the waters for fish amid new fancy sea craft traveling the inland waterway. two worlds colliding for sure.......the author weaves a story of a murder and old salties who never change, with the onslaught of new ventures that wo ...more
Nov 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Deborah Knott is at it again. This time she has been "loaned" to the North Carolina coast for a week to hear cases for a vacationing judge. She is staying at her cousins house out on the islands and has close friends that she visits with. When she finds a dead body the race is on, will she solve the mystery or will someone get to her first.

I do enjoy these stories and the cast of characters that inhabit them. Deborah is a fascinating character and all of her relatives just add to the fun.

I thoug
Sylvia Walker
Jun 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This book is a nice, solid 3 stars, especially for it's strong setting, and it's depiction of the Islanders, who do shoot loons and swans and turtles, but who also represent a type of rural people who are NOT into caring about the environment, and bitterly resent, and feel misunderstood by, outsiders coming in and throwing around money and changing the laws and threatening their "way of life". I have to admit, both sides have their stories to tell and points to make, as horrible as shooting enda ...more
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-series
At a rate of one audiobook per tank of gas, I finished my third book for the week. I'm really enjoying the character and narration of Judge Deborah Knott, as she takes a trip to the other side of NC to fill in for another justice. Of course, trouble follows wherever she goes, and she finds a body nearly as soon as she drops off her suitcase.
Stuck in the politics of game fishing, commercial fishing, and tourism, Deborah tries her best not to be too involved in the murder. Ah well. Everything is w
Kevin Kern
May 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Each one of these Deborah Knott stories are as appropriate today, as they were 20 years ago. #1 - prejudice against gays; #2 - sexual child abuse, mixed with charity built housing; #3- environmental concerns along the Carolina shores. I am quite happy that I decided to go back and read these from the beginning, Debbie. I recommend them to any mystery lover; they are quick reads, but full of life's real problems. I will back off for a few weeks now, and devour some I got from the Bookmobile, 2 re ...more
May 30, 2009 added it
Shelves: librarybook
Slight regional cozy that shows an Outer Banks fishing village in the process of transforming into a quaint tourist destination. Tension between those who pursue a near-subsistence lifestyle (including occasional consumption of protected species) and those who see the future in a service economy erupts in several murders and break-ins. I sort of didn't understand why Deborah Knott's law-school boyfriend suddenly showed up in the story, except to pour on the "the past was wonderful but it's gone ...more
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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 Mysteries (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Bootlegger's Daughter (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #1)
  • Southern Discomfort (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #2)
  • 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)
  • Rituals of the Season (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #11)

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