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Publisher's Summary

The governor of North Carolina has appointed Deborah to a judicial seat in the District Court Division. On her weekends, the fledgling judge has been helping an all-woman building crew complete a home for a needy single mother. Her attempts to gain positive P.R. go awry when her niece is found battered and half-naked in the partially completed home, with Deborah's own bloody hammer lying nearby.
Don't miss the other books in the Deborah Knott mystery series.
©1993 Margaret Maron
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Critic Reviews

"Excellent...a thriller that simply oozes southern charm and atmosphere". (Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Carolyn on 11-01-14


I look for books about the south and hung in on this story though the end only because I very much like the performer. Character development was just not there and the plot was somewhat ordinary. Skip this one.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Jean on 10-09-15

A look inside a southern family

The book is a perceptive, gently satirical look at human behavior during a period of social change besides being a suspenseful mystery. Deborah Knott has survived her first week on the bench as a judge. On the weekend she is helping the local women’s shelter build a new house. As the story progresses she finds her niece Annie Sue bruised and unconscious at the building site, the building inspector dead, the hammer Deborah had been using nearby and her brother, Annie Sue’s father, collapsed nearby in his truck. Turns out he has arsenic poisoning, who did it and why and is there anyone else.

The story is well written, the plot is twisting with lots of suspense and family interaction. Maron provides a surprise ending to the story. The author also packs a social history as well as travelogue information into the story. C. J. Critt does a good job narrating the story.

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7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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