Description /Buy link takes you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.
The Deborah Knott Mysteries is a series of cozy mystery novels written by Margaret Maron. The books follow the exploits of a district Judge in a North Carolina county who solves mysteries.
Order of Judge Deborah Knott Series
|1||Bootlegger's Daughter||1992||Description / Buy|
|2||Southern Discomfort||1993||Description / Buy|
|3||Shooting at Loons||1994||Description / Buy|
|4||Up Jumps the Devil||1996||Description / Buy|
|5||Killer Market||1997||Description / Buy|
|6||Home Fires||1998||Description / Buy|
|7||Storm Track||2000||Description / Buy|
|8||Uncommon Clay||2001||Description / Buy|
|9||Slow Dollar||2002||Description / Buy|
|10||High Country Fall||2004||Description / Buy|
|11||Rituals of the Season||2005||Description / Buy|
|12||Winter's Child||2006||Description / Buy|
|13||Hard Row||2007||Description / Buy|
|14||Death's Half Acre||2008||Description / Buy|
|15||Sand Sharks||2009||Description / Buy|
|16||Christmas Mourning||2010||Description / Buy|
|17||Three-Day Town||2011||Description / Buy|
|18||The Buzzard Table||2012||Description / Buy|
|19||Designated Daughters||2014||Description / Buy|
|20||Long Upon the Land||2015||Description / Buy|
When readers first meet Deborah Knott in Bootlegger’s Daughter, the first novel in the series, the heroine is just an attorney with big dreams.
Knott is running for the position of District Judge but there is no end to the number of challenges and obstacles that keep rising to stop her.
Knott is forced to put her plans on hold when a girl she used to babysit asks for her help.
Gayle was just an infant when her mother was murdered. The police tried and failed to find her killer.
Now Gayle, a young woman, won’t rest until she puts her mother’s murder mystery to rest, a task that Knott undertakes with some fervor.
Most people might scoff at the idea of an attorney like Knott solving crimes. But most such people do not know that the heroine is intimately acquainted with her town.
Knott knows everything there is to know about the county. As such, she knows all the right people that need a talking to, and all the right questions that need asking.
The Deborah Knott Mysteries series is Deborah Knott’s story. The novels are categorized as cozy mysteries but some people oppose that classification.
Knott definitely fits the image of a cozy mystery sleuth. She’s an attorney who has no business chasing murderers around town. And yet, the heroine’s experience in the legal field and her keen intellect make her more than a match for her town’s criminals.
The protagonist comes from a large family of 12 siblings. So there is no end to the crazy characters that keep flitting in and out of Knott’s life.
However, these books normally stand apart from other volumes in the Cozy mystery genre because they are so dark.
The author’s story takes place in the South and Margaret Maron works very hard to paint a vivid and accurate picture of her setting.
And for a series that began in the early 1990s, that often means touching upon the racism, sexism, and homophobia that was rife in North Carolina during that period.
The author tries to use each novel to attack a particular social issue. The books are not always bogged down by the weight of these subjects but Margaret doesn’t shy away from them either.
Deborah Knott Mysteries Awards
Bootlegger’s Daughter, the first novel in the series, won Macavity, Anthony, Edgar and Agatha Awards in 1992.
Up Jumps the Devil won the Agatha Award in 1996. Home Fires was also nominated for the same accolade, along with a Macavity Award nomination.
High Country Fall was nominated for an Agatha and a Macavity Award.
Rituals of the Season and Hard Row received Agatha nominations. Three-Day-Town won the Agatha Award in 2011.
Best Deborah Knott Mysteries Books
These novels are often praised for their willingness to tackle racism and sexism in the South, with some of the best books in the series including:
High Country Fall: Deborah Knott is finally engaged to her childhood friend but the impending wedding is driving her crazy.
When she agrees to fill in for a judge in the Cedar Gap hills, it is with the intention of using the fresh mountain air to escape the stressful nature of her life.
But then a doctor is brutally murdered and Knott’s decision to investigate the case forces her to take another, more critical look at her relationship with her fiance.
Long Upon the Land: When Kezzie, Deborah Knott’s father, discovers a dead man on his farm, the revelation of a dispute between Kezzie and the deceased man raises questions.
A local newspaper goes so far as to suggest that Knott’s family might have orchestrated the murder victim’s death.
The fact that Knott’s husband is the Sheriff investigating the case only makes things worse. Knott must get to the bottom of the situation before the entire family’s name is ruined.
But her brothers are hiding something and nothing Knott says will get them to open up.
Other Book Series You May Like
Be sure to check out the “Posadas County Mystery” Series by Steven F. Havill. Estelle Reyes-Guzman first appeared in the Gastner books as a supporting character. She takes the lead in this series, having returned from Minnesota to fill the role of Undersheriff under Bobby Terez, the New Sheriff.
Fortunately or unfortunately for Estelle, there is no shortage of murders and mysteries in Posadas County.
Another fine series is “Doyle and Acton” Series by Anne Cleeland. Kathleen Doyle is a first-year detective of humble Irish beginnings. Michael Sinclair is a brilliant, enigmatic British Lord. Together, the Scotland Yard officers solve crimes.
What Is The Next Book in The Judge Deborah Knott Series?
There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Judge Deborah Knott Series. The newest book is Long Upon the Land and was released on August, 11th 2015.