Bootlegger's Daughter: A Deborah Knott Mystery
Unconventional, still unwed (at the ripe old age of 34) North Carolina attorney Deborah Knott has done the unthinkable: tossed her hat into the heated race for district judge of old boy-ruled Colleton County. The only female candidate, she’s busy defending indigent clients and reeling in voters. Then suddenly, the young daughter of Janie Whitehead begs her to help solve Janie’s senseless, never-solved, eighteen-year-old murder. Deborah takes on the case; following twisted, typically Southern bloodlines, turning up dangerous, decades-old secrets, and inspiring someone to go on an all-out campaign to derail her future—political and otherwise. But it will take more than sleazy smear tactics to scare this determined steel magnolia off the scent of down-home deceit…even in a town where a cool slug of moonshine made by Deborah’s father can go down just as smoothly as a cold case of triple murder.
This first novel in Maron’s Imperfect series, which won the Edgar Award for best mystery novel in 1993, introduces heroine Deborah Knott, an attorney and the daughter of an infamous North Carolina bootlegger. Known for her knowledge of the region’s past and popular with the locals, Deb is asked by 18-year-old Gayle Whitehead to investigate the unsolved murder of her mother Janie, who died when Gayle was an infant. While visiting the owner of the property where Janie’s body was found, Deb learns of Janie’s more-than-promiscuous past. Piecing together lost clues and buried secrets Deb is introduced to Janie’s darker side, but it’s not until another murder occurs that she uncovers the truth.