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Death's Half Acre

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Death's Half Acre Cover

ISBN13: 9780446196109
ISBN10: 044619610x
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Unchecked urbanization has begun to eclipse the North Carolina countryside. As farms give way to shoddy mansions, farmers struggle to slow the rampant growth. In the shadows, corrupt county commissioners use their political leverage to make profitable deals with new developers. A murder will pull Judge Deborah Knott and Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant into the middle of this bitter dispute and force them to confront some dark realities.

Review:

"Agatha-winner Maron's outstanding 14th novel to feature Judge Deborah Knott (after 2007's Hard Row) charts the social changes in rural Colleton County, N.C., as housing developments and shopping malls squeeze out small farmers. The apparent suicide of a greedy county commissioner sets Knott's husband, sheriff's deputy Dwight Bryant, on a case that uncovers corruption and murder. Though busy settling small-claims disputes and participating in family gatherings, Knott herself gets involved in the case because of implications for her own future in local politics. She's also worried about the activities of her father, who's retired as a bootlegger but is still an unrepentant flim-flam man. Maron observes the levelheaded Knott, her large extended family, neighbors and the whole community with cool but genuine sympathy; even criminals remain believably human. Those looking for a mellow, down-home mystery will be well rewarded." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

Margaret Maron grew up on a farm near Raleigh and lived in Brooklyn for many years. Returning to her North Carolina roots prompted Marcia to write a series based on her own background, the first of which, BOOTLEGGER'S DAUGHTER, was a Washington Post bestseller and swept the major mystery awards for 1993. DEATH'S HALF ACRE is the fourteenth book in the acclaimed Deborah Knott series. Visit her website at www.margaretmaron.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Julie Anderson, September 7, 2008 (view all comments by Julie Anderson)
Reviewed for queuemyreview.com; book release Aug08

Yes! I took a quick break from all things romance to read “Death’s Half Acre” by Margaret Maron. This is a story about greed and murder in small town America. It’s not bloody, it’s not scary, it’s just a good way to pit your ‘li’l grey cells’ against those of the author for a couple of hours.

North Carolina is a beautiful state. And I’d like to think there are still places like the Colleton County described in Maron’s book. There are the old-timer’s whose families have been there as long as anybody can remember, and there’s the newcomers who want to ‘get away’ from big city living, but can’t seem to go a day without wishing for a Starbucks or a WalMart! Maron’s ability to depict the slower pace and cronyism of the Deep South can only come from personal knowledge since she pegs it dead on.

When a crooked female politician with bigger aspirations than the City Council she was appointed to commits suicide, the same questions are on everybody’s lips. Especially since she left a note saying she was guilty of kickbacks and illegal profiting from her position. But she didn’t name any names or give any details, so now everybody who ever had any dealings with her (and that would pretty much be everybody in business in town) is under suspicion. When the coroner reveals her death as a murder and not suicide, the investigation gains steam. Then her daughter is killed and the clues don’t seem to be adding up.

Deborah Knott is a judge in Colleton County. Her husband is a Sheriff’s Deputy. So for the sake of marital harmony they don’t ‘talk work’ at home. But when Deborah finds out the dead woman had files on her family, she begins to waver. Now it looks like all those past secrets may come to light, and Deborah must make some tough decisions about justice and legality…and stay alive while doing it.

I enjoyed Margaret Maron’s country mystery. Her characters were so accurately drawn there were times I was sure they were people I’ve known. As a denizen of the Deep South myself, I recognized many of the character types described in this mystery. But I think what I enjoyed most about “Death’s Half Acre” was the author’s gentle probing into the grey areas of justice and what people will do for family…and for power. The mystery is well-plotted and even with all the well-placed clues, I didn’t guess the guilty party until the end of the book. There were plenty of red herrings and all of them were viably plausible and suspects abound. If a homespun southern mystery sounds like your cup of sweet tea (yes, I couldn’t resist), then pick up a copy of this book for yourself. You might want to read it sitting on your front porch, in a rocker, with a mint julep in your hand! Ahhhhh.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780446196109
Author:
Maron, Margaret
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - General
Subject:
North carolina
Subject:
Women judges
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
Judges; Social change; Greed; Murder investigations; Political corruption; Farmers; Farm life; Urban development
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Publication Date:
20090701
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
7 x 4.25 x 1.125 in 0.35 lb

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Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z

Death's Half Acre Used Hardcover
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Product details 320 pages Grand Central Publishing - English 9780446196109 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Agatha-winner Maron's outstanding 14th novel to feature Judge Deborah Knott (after 2007's Hard Row) charts the social changes in rural Colleton County, N.C., as housing developments and shopping malls squeeze out small farmers. The apparent suicide of a greedy county commissioner sets Knott's husband, sheriff's deputy Dwight Bryant, on a case that uncovers corruption and murder. Though busy settling small-claims disputes and participating in family gatherings, Knott herself gets involved in the case because of implications for her own future in local politics. She's also worried about the activities of her father, who's retired as a bootlegger but is still an unrepentant flim-flam man. Maron observes the levelheaded Knott, her large extended family, neighbors and the whole community with cool but genuine sympathy; even criminals remain believably human. Those looking for a mellow, down-home mystery will be well rewarded." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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