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Designated Daughters (A Deborah Knott Mystery) Hardcover – August 12, 2014


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Product Details

  • Series: A Deborah Knott Mystery (Book 19)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1st edition (August 12, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455545287
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455545285
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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

In MWA Grand Master Maron's outstanding 19th mystery featuring judge Deborah Knott of North Carolina's Colleton County (after 2012's The Buzzard Table), Deborah's elderly aunt, Rachel Morton, lies near death in a hospice. Rachel attracts a crowd of friends and relatives as she talks of "babies, fires, and unpaid debts, of someone who beat his wife and of cowbirds and vegetables and broken jars." A distraction allows a killer enough time to slip into Rachel's room and smother her with a pillow, thus ending her ramblings, which apparently concealed deadly secrets. Unraveling those secrets-some 60 years old-is a slow, difficult process with lots of suspects among friends and family. Maron achieves a delicate balance as she explores differences between mistakes, sins, and crimes, and shows that justice is not always arrived at by conventional means. Humor (e.g., Deborah outfoxes an unscrupulous auctioneer) and social issues (e.g., the difficult role of caregivers to the elderly) add to the warmth of a large family with all its foibles, squabbles, and quirks.—Publishers Weekly

When Judge Deborah Knott gets a call from the convalescent home about her Aunt Rachel, she expects to hear the worst. She arrives to find her aunt awake and telling stories from her past, including some that are new to Deborah. Yet within hours Rachel is dead, and it is obvious that she was murdered. While Deborah and her husband, sheriff's deputy Dwight Bryant, investigate, her family becomes embroiled in a dispute with a dirty antiques dealer. Alternating viewpoints between Deborah and Dwight, Maron weaves family threads together with current events that leave the reader wanting to know more about the Knott family tree.

Verdict: The author's 19th series outing (after The Buzzard Table) offers loyal fans a fresh look at her expansive family and community. Readers will savor the slow-paced Southern culture and layered story. Maron was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 2013.—Library Journal

[four stars] Maron is still going strong with the 19th installment in her Deborah Knott series. DESIGNATED DAUGHTERS is a solid mystery where Southern charm meets murder. Maron delves into some social issues of today, and readers can expect a small-town family atmosphere with a lot of heart.
Judge Deborah Knott's beloved Aunt Rachel is expected to pass away at any moment--but she wakes up surrounded by family and friends and begins to reminisce as if she were a young woman again. The Knott family's happiness at Rachel's great improvement is short lived when she is smothered with a pillow shortly thereafter. As Deborah and her husband, Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant, look into what happened, their path continues to cross with a list of unlikely suspects. The pair soon realizes that the motive for murder was a secret told during Aunt Rachel's mixed-up ramblings before her death--a secret worth killing for.—RT Book Reviews

About the Author

Margaret Maron grew up on a farm near Raleigh and lived in Brooklyn for many years. Returning to her North Carolina roots prompted Margaret to write a series based on her own background, the first of which, Bootlegger's Daughter, was a Washington Post bestseller and swept the major mystery awards for 1993. DESIGNATED DAUGHTERS is the nineteenth book in the acclaimed Deborah Knott series. Visit her website at www.margaretmaron.com.

Customer Reviews

For mystery readers, I recommend this series.
R. Bancroft
The characters are warm and likable, country folk with good hearts and a love of family for the most part.
Mason Canyon
The book is well written, the characters are real and colorful, the mystery just enough.
PM

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Pandora on September 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I usually love Deborah Knott and her family, but I have to say I was disappointed in this book. There was too much family and not enough mystery. And I really didn't buy end or the reasoning behind it. Plus I was very put off by Maron's political rantings at the end of the book. I read a book for enjoyment, not to hear a diatribe on the writer's political leanings or how she feels about the state we live in. Not sure I'll buy the next Deborah Knott mystery if this is the way Maron is heading.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Delphimo on September 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I have read all the Deborah Knott novels, and sometimes the book is not as good as the others. This book left me feeling empty, like something has been missed. The killer was exposed, but with remorse and regrets. Yes, the Knotts family is huge and related to many other individuals, but the family characters prove too much for this reader. Also, the relationships between individuals did not ring true. After reading better novels, this story proved disappointing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By kayakwoman on September 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
a disappointing offering from a normally excellent mystery writer. it was like reading someone's boring "tweets" about their multiple family cookouts.....with an unconvincing "mystery". By the way, the title has nothing to do with the mystery.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Colleen Rae on September 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I started reading and she had me hooked but by the middle of the book I was getting tired of all the relatives and their connection to each other. I thought she wrote in too many sidetracks to the story.Too many picnics, auctions, unimportant words not necessary to the story. And in the end I was disappointed that the killer was benign. I would have liked to read more suspense and mystery. Too little of that. I would NOT recommend this book to anyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paula Harmon on August 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I love spending time with the Knott clan, seeing Deborah's relationships with Dwight & Cal develop and exploring all the family relationships. Aunt Rachel, Kezzie's sister, is in hospice and all of a sudden starts talking a blue streak. Next thing you know, she's dead and not from natural causes. What did Aunt Rachel say that made someone want to murder such a sweet old lady? Dwight and Deborah investigate and uncover many secrets along the way.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Culbertson on August 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a Maron and Judge Knott long time fan, but I was disappointed in this book because I thought it was too skimpy on the mystery part snd too long in family picnics, swimming and meals.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Willner on August 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of everything that Margaret Maron writes and this book was no let down. In fact I think it is one of her best, particularly if one has ever had to care for an older relative. A wonderful read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Reader on August 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a continuation of the Deborah Knott series. Maron's voice rings so true in her portrayal of Southern life. An engrossing mystery involving long held family secrets.
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Designated Daughters (A Deborah Knott Mystery)
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