Share This

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Review: Sand Sharks by Margaret Maron

Copyright: Aug 2009 (Grand Central Publishing); 304 pgs.
Series: #15 in Deborah Knott Mysteries
Sensuality: N/A
Mystery sub-genre: Amateur Sleuth
Main Character: North Caroline District Judge Deborah Knott
Setting: conference at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
Winner of any awards: Series has won Edgar and Anthony awards
Obtained book through: Library

Judge Deborah Knot has only been married seven months and finds herself adjusting not only to married relationship dynamics but also to a stepson come to live with the newlyweds. Deborah looks forward to a little time away while at a judge’s conference at idyllic Wrightsville Beach. The first night before the conference most of the judges have arrived and have dinner together. The first inkling that Judge Jeffreys is not liked comes during the dinner when Deborah’s cousin Reid won’t even join her at her table because of Judge Jeffreys’ presence. After dinner Deborah finds the body of Judge Jeffreys.

“I turned to Reid and said ‘So why didn’t you come over and speak to Fitz and Martha? He’s retiring this fall?’

Reid’s dad, Brix Junior, was a close friend of the Fitzhumes and they had known Reid since he was a little boy.

‘I’ll catch’em later. He downed the rest of his drink in one long swallow. ‘No way I’m going over while that asshole’s there.’

‘And which asshole would that be?’ I asked.

‘Jeffreys.’ He spat out the name like an expletive.

Once we were in the car, I could see Chelsea Ann’s face in the rearview mirror. ‘Did you just twinkle at that Edwards guy?’ I asked. “You did, You twinkled at him.’

As the uniformed officer lowered the tape at the exit of the parking lot and signaled for us to drive through, Chelsea Ann grinned and said, “So?’

Rosemary sighed and laid her head against the seat. ‘I thought you said that a chest for you new entry hall was the only thing you intended to bring back from the beach this year.’

Chelsea Ann gave her sister a reassuring pat on the arm. ‘I haven’t loaded him in my trunk,’ she said. ‘Yet.’”
As Deborah easily asks questions of her fellow judges and passes along relevant information to the local investigating detective, Gary Edwards, she finds that Judge Jeffreys was corrupt and a bad judge leaving a plethora of suspects. Was it another judge or somebody who suffered due to his bad judicial decisions? There are many characters involved in the story with the setting being a conference, so fair warning – read when you can give the novel attention with few interruptions.

Deborah is a reasonable and thoughtful main character who shows an internal strength I appreciated. The large cast of characters I felt was handled aptly and I was able to keep the relationships clear. This book’s strong point is the rich layering of setting and a sense of history. I had not read any prior Deborah Knott mysteries and I felt immediately a part of her world. The many personal histories are carefully doled out to enfold the reader.

The story is told primarily from Deborah’s viewpoint with the exception of a few chapters told from detective Edwards or Detective Wall’s viewpoint. Thus the reader is along for the ride figuring out what happened and the motive for the murder with a few miscalculations as everything is pieced together. Once the culprit is revealed it didn’t seem like there were enough clues to point the reader in that direction, so there was no satisfaction in having a fair chance to figure out whodunit. Overall a great story with a writing style I enjoyed. I am looking forward to reading more from this author for she is a good story weaver.
Bookmark and Share


Related Posts with Thumbnails