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Home Fires (Deborah Knott Mysteries #6)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  1,952 Ratings  ·  69 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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Richard Brand
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a story of church burnings in North Carolina in the early 60's or 70's. I am not real sure. Helms and Harry Gant were listed as senate candidates. Of course, one of the Knott relatives is accused of the being a part of a group of teenagers who did the fires. We have all kinds of love interest with Deborah and her game warden. There is her building of a new house. There are lots of interesting discussion about race relations and there are many good insights into the dynamics of black whit ...more
Kilian Metcalf
May 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Dail Sams
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
The burning of three black churches causes Deborah and her neighbors to recognized the subtle racism that still pervades their community. Deborah builds a house on Knott land and prepares to begin a new stage of life.
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am reading this series again because I enjoy the main character so much. Deborah Knott is the youngest in a family of twelve and the only girl. She is a respected judge in her small North Carolina town of Dobbs who manages to get involved in the latest crime wave. In this book, the story is again set in Dobbs and involves members of her community. Fires are being set and black churches are burning to the ground. Deborah manages to be in the thick of it and helps solve the crimes. I also want t ...more
Jul 31, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoy every book in this series. the beginning of each chapter of this one highlights the quirky messages of small-town church signs. If you drive on rural roads you will immediately recognize the accuracy and giggle just a little. Since the mystery revolves around church burning, it's a great touch. This is the "food" entry of the series. Almost every chapter highlights another quintessential food of this rural area just outside (SE) of Raleigh NC area. Read for the local flavor!
Michelle Young
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Debra and Dwight! Yippee!
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am on a reading quest to read all of Margaret Maron's Deborah Knott Mystery series. So far I have read Shooting At Loons, Killer Market, Death's Half Acre, and Long Upon the Land. I have just finished Home Fires and it might be the best one yet. The series is about the Knott family of North Carolina. Deborah is a Circuit Court Judge at the start of a reelection campaign. Her father plans a picnic to kick off the start of her campaign with a pig smoked in a cooker, soft drinks iced in big garba ...more
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
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, knott
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
Jan 08, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Jean Poulos
Dec 13, 2015 rated it liked it
This is book six in the Knott series. I started with book one and I am reading my way through the series. I was attracted to the series after noting all the various awards it had won such as the Edgar, Macovity and the Anthony awards.

In this book Maron incorporates the changes and problems that integration has brought to the New South. She did this most skillfully considering the delicate topic. Judge Deborah Knott, who narrates the story, is at the start of a re-election campaign when a nephew
Oct 09, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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
Feb 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-series
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
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 chara ...more
Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Ellen Moore
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jean Browne
May 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
North Carolina is the setting for this mystery that centers around racial tensions that continue to simmer between blacks and whites in a small town. Deborah Knott is a Judge in her hometown and when a fire in a black church occurs, and her nephew is involved, she is torn between the law and loyalty to her family. And then, a strange connection from the past adds to the mystery. Although filled with " Southern Charm', this just wasn't my 'cup of tea ' .
Jamie Brooks
Sep 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010, mystery
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.
Lisa Wakefield
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
#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.
Sandy Weir
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.

May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, suspense
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.

William Mosteller
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
I wanted to give this book a 3.5. It is #6 in the Deborah Knott series. This was my least favorite so far church burnings in Deborah’s home town and Deborah's nephew and his friends are suspects.
Apr 19, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars
I like the Deborah Knott Mysteries, even though I am listening to them out of order. Again, C. J. Critt's narration is very good. Very good book to listen to on a road trip, which is what we did. I will search out another one in this series next time I’m at the library.

Nov 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
A very narrow minded book when a district court judge decides it's a good idea to run into a burning, smoke filled church to save some paper fans. I lost hope after that chapter, and the story never redeemed itself for me.
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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)
  • Shooting at Loons (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #3)
  • Up Jumps the Devil (Deborah Knott Mystery, #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)

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