Author: Margaret Maron
Margaret Maron knows how to set a scene. Ms. Maron places her characters in a lovely N.C. seaside town and since I was born in N.C., I loved the way “place” exuded its own innate charm to the novel. Set in Wrightsville Beach, a North Carolina coastline resort, I can see the egrets and seagulls from here. Sultry, hot, humid and sensual, the scene remains an integral element in the novel. The characters are wonderful – and Maron writes in that luxurious Southern style
reminiscent of Fannie Flagg.
Judge Deborah Knott attends the summer conference of district court judges at Wrightsville Beach, N.C. When Deborah arrives at the hotel, she meets her friends Chelsea Ann and Rosemary Emerson. Deborah has been married only 8 months and misses her husband Dwight – however, as we meet the other judges we realize that Deborah had quite the social
life before she wed. It refreshes to hear all the judges bickering, laughing, romancing and generally carrying on like normal folk at their first dinner at the hotel.
However, when Deborah leans over a railing to dispense the contents of her stomach (one margarita too many, she moans to Chelsea Ann and Rosemary) she discovers the body of Judge Pete Jeffreys laying in the river below. Detective Edwards arrives and questions everyone – and
everyone discusses the sleaziness of Jeffrey’s past judicial moves.
As Chelsea Ann and Detective Edwards find a mutual liking, and Rosemary’s husband Dave gets caught with a young waitress in the hot tub, the novel rushes on. We get to know the judges at this conference well, and they feel like old friends.
Deborah stumbles onto the truth of the murder after one of the hotel waiters, the only suspect, finds himself dead in the same car that tried to run over another judge. Another murder, and Deborah saves the day.
Like a well-worn coat, the author eases us into the beauty of N.C. coastline and the eccentric and loveable cast of characters. Wonderfully written, by the end of the novel I felt I knew everyone
and the mystery murders were almost secondary. A great read, I was sad to turn the last page. I need to read another Deborah Knott mystery – SOON!
Rating is based on a 5-star scale.
Thank you to Hachette Book Group for providing this book.
Sand Sharks will be released in August and is available for pre-order at Amazon.com for only $16.49.
Review by Broad “A” – Ava
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