Storm Track by Margaret Maron
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Hurricane Fran is barrelling down toward Judge Deborah Knott's Colleton County, but that isn't even the worst of it. A young woman is found murdered in town: Lynn Bullock was the wife of Jason Bullock, a lawyer in Colleton. It looks like Lynn's philandering has finally caught up with her. Deborah begins her own investigation -- mostly in attempt to make sure that her cousin, Reed, who was involved with Lynn, wasn't also a part of her murder. But as Deborah keeps digging, she finds that Lynn and Jason's story goes much deeper and links in with many of the townspeople of Colleton County. When someone else turns up dead, Deborah knows there is more to Lynn's death than meets the eye.
Goodreads tells me that I haven't picked up one of Margaret Maron's Deborah Knott mysteries since 2009, which is hard to believe, because reading one of these cozy mystery novels is always easy and familiar. My kids and I have been participating in our library's Summer Reads program, and this year the program gives away free books to adults, too! (How cool is that?) I chose a Maron book for June's prize and quickly realized how long it had been since I read a Deborah Knott mystery--and how many books I'd need to read to catch up with the one I picked up (#13, I think).
So here we are. I have a soft spot for Maron's mysteries due to my love of southern literature. She has a lovely and easy way of capturing her southern characters--their drawls, their southern ways, the complicated (yet simple) sprawling nature of Deborah's large extended family. This novel features a sweet young boy named Stan, who easily steals the show, as well as Deborah's typical interactions with her family and friends. While I always feel like trouble finds Deborah awfully easily (the murder rate in Colleton County is awfully high), these books are enjoyable, quick reads. Even after all these years, it was easy to pick back up again with Deborah and her clan. Deborah's sleuthing isn't particularly complicated--and the ending was fairly quick, with a twist that I had started to guess--but it was still a comfortable mystery. I always enjoy Deborah and will try to keep catching up with the series over the next few months. Oh who are we kidding... years. I still have a ways to go before I catch up and can read that free book from the library's program!
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