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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Margaret Maron is a winner of the Edgar, Anthony, Agatha, Macavity, and American Mystery Awards. Her captivating mysteries feature quick-witted Deborah Knott, a lawyer, district judge, and devout North Carolinian. At the annual Harvest Festival carnival, while everyone else is playing games and having fun, someone commits murder. As Deborah investigates, she must struggle to win a carny's confidence while a dark web of dangerous secrets begins to unravel.
Don't miss the other books in the Deborah Knott mystery series.
©2000 Margaret Maron (P)2000 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"The rural North Carolina dialogue and 'carny' talk are perfect, especially descriptions of food, fashion and enchanting scenery of Indian summer in the South. The author draws family relationships so clearly you feel you could melt right into the crowd for barbecue, biscuits, slaw and cobbler." (Publishers Weekly)
"Maron's appealing story races forward at breakneck speed, taking full advantage of familiar characters and both real and fictional locations." (Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tim
  • 18-07-2004

Colorful writing and characterization, good plot

This is the best of the Judge Knott series: Good local color and colorful writing, good characters (both main and secondary), and a complex plot that was fun to follow. Good diversion.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Julie
  • 15-10-2013

Great book

Although this is the 9th in the series, it does well as a stand alone. I thought the mystery was well written, but the various relationships in the story were also part of the overall pleasure of this book. Even the characters who only had cameo appearances in Deborah's courtroom are...characters. I felt drawn into the story, and was sorry when I finished it. I'm eager to listen to the next one.
Re the narrator: I was somewhat dubious about listening to C J Critt read a story set in North Carolina, having heard her read several Stephanie Plum novels which require a very different accent. I needn't have worried. There was nothing about her reading which reminded me of any other series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Linda
  • 01-06-2012

Another winner in the Deborah Knott series!

Loved the family connection revealed in this book. All the Deborah Knott books have been a joy to read and to listen to C.J. Critt is one of my favorite narrators. Very strong reader with great range. I enjoyed reading all these books and even more listening to the series. The characters are all strong and interesting. The story has a strong line and a firm voice. The background of the carnival makes a unique and provocative story come to life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Willy K.
  • 03-08-2015

Love Maron's POV style

Every time I read a Maron book I enjoy the setting and background information as much as the mystery. This one opened the world of traveling carnivals and carnival slang. Loved it!

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  • Chalis
  • 13-05-2014

Slow Dollar - Great Read

I discovered this series on Audible less than a year ago and am already a devoted fan. When I want to listen to a book with a great plot, a good mystery and characters I like, the Debra Knott series is the first place I look.

One of the things I enjoy about this series is that Margaret Maron has constructed it in a way that allows Debra Knott to be involved in a number of different "environments." This adds alot of variety and interest to the stories.

The pace of the story is brisk, there are plenty of new characters along with the continuing characters. There is a great sense of "place".

It might be best to read these books in order. However I started with one of the more recent books, and have read earlier books after that. It hasn't spoiled my enjoyment of the series.

C.J. Critt is an excellent narrator.