Margaret Maron grew up in the country near Raleigh, North Carolina, but for many years lived in Brooklyn, New York. When she and her artist husband returned to the farm that had been in her family for a hundred years, she began a series based on her own background. The first book, Bootlegger's Daughter, became a Washington Post bestseller that swept the major mystery awards for its year -- winning the Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Awards for Best Novel -- and is among the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century as selected by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association.
Later, her Deborah Knott novels Up Jumps the Devil, Storm Track, and Three-Day Town each also won the Agatha Award for Best Novel. Margaret is also the author of the Sigrid Harald series of detective novels. In 2008, Maron received the North Carolina Award for Literature, the highest civilian honor the state bestows on its authors. And in 2013, the Mystery Writers of America celebrated Maron's contributions to the mystery genre by naming her a Grand Master -- an honor first bestowed on Agatha Christie. To find out more about her, you can visit MargaretMaron.com.
Praise for DESIGNATED DAUGHTERS:
In DESIGNATED DAUGHTERS, practically the whole clan shows up at
the hospice where Aunt Rachel has interrupted the process of dying
to deliver a rambling account of all the things that have been on
her wandering mind. It's quite a lovely deathbed aria, narrated in
the honeyed accents of the region. But someone must have feared
Aunt Rachel might divulge a buried secret because that someone
creeps into her room and smothers her with a pillow. Maron knows
how to adorn a solid murder mystery with plenty of ancillary
entertainments. But her broader theme involves the way families
flourish when they work together for the common good. While there
are charming scenes of group projects like building a pond shed and
assembling a bluegrass band, the clan members Maron really
cherishes are those who devote themselves to caring for the elders
of the family. Living saints they are, every last one of them.
--New York Times Book Review
"Bestseller Maron's 20th Deborah Knott mystery (after 2014's Designated Daughters) combines strong plotting, a superb cast of recurring characters, and a rare sense of place that transports readers to rural North Carolina. District court judge Deborah and the huge Knott clan headed by Deborah's father, reformed bootlegger Kezzie Knott, become involved in a murder investigation when Kezzie finds Vick Earp bludgeoned to death on the family farm. Vick and his Earp relatives have had an ongoing feud with the Knotts. When Deborah's lawman husband, Dwight Bryant, is appointed lead investigator, the victim's uncle, Joby Earp, is quick to stir up charges of favoritism. Providing counterpoint to the murder case is the backstory of Deborah's mother, Sue Stephenson, and Sue's relationship with the mysterious Capt. Walter Raynesford McIntyre, of the U.S. Army Air Corps, whom she meets in 1943 at a USO club. It all adds up to another sparkling chapter of the Knott family saga."--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"It's a wonderful read that answers many questions for long-time readers but not so many that it spoils earlier mysteries in the series for new readers."--News & Observer (NC)
"Maron proves as adept as ever at melding a central mystery with an involving family story...Maron emphasizes the close relationships of Deborah's extended family and the way their rural lifestyle connects them to the land, which makes for an especially heartwarming read."--Booklist
"Sprinkled with the low-country vernacular and the wonderful characters of Colleton County, NC, this title is a worthy addition to Maron's series."--Library Journal
"This author knows how to draw you in! The family interaction made me so curious that it was impossible to put down."--Suspense Magazine