Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Deborah Knott mystery

14. Death's Half Acre, by Margaret Maron

The latest in Maron's Judge Deborah Knott series is plotted around the corrupt connections between developers and politicians, something that is totally foreign to a Chicagoan like myself. {smile} The murderee is a county commissioner who clawed herself up by her painted nails, and supposedly takes her marching orders from the party higher-ups. But she has an agenda of her own, with files on a whole lot of folks. Judge Knott wonders if she knew the secret to Knott's appointment to the bench.

It's a decent mystery (took me a while to figure out the culprit, and Maron doesn't cheat, as some writers do, by making it a very minor character), though Knott does engage in a couple of acts of sheer stupidity, without which the matter would have been solved sooner.

There's also a courtroom scene which nearly had me throwing the book across the room, so outrageously unrealistic was it. However, this is a library book, so I didn't.

As usual, I enjoyed the byplay among Knott and her extended families. She's still adjusting to stepmother-hood, but has the example of her own mother to go by.

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