Up Jumps the Devil (Deborah Knott Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jul 1997
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About the Author
Born and raised in central North Carolina, Margaret Maron lived in Italy before returning to the USA where she and her husband now live. In addition to a collection of short stories she's also the author of 16 mystery novels. Her works have been translated into seven languages her Bootlegger's Daughter, a Washington Post Bestseller won Edgar Anthony, Agatha, and Macavity awards. She is a past president of Sisters in Crime and of the American Crime writers' league, and a director on the national board for Mystery Writers of America. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Truck driver and childhood neighbor Dallas Stancil is shot and killed in his own backyard; Deborah figures she owes his memory at least the respectful ritual of taking his widow one of her Aunt Zell's tasty chicken casseroles. Mind you, Dallas wasn't rich, but with development eating up the farms and forests of the state since the building of the new interstate highway, Stancil's land is suddenly worth a fortune, a fact of which his trashy, chain-smoking third wife and grown stepchildren are only too aware. Opportunists, including one of Deborah's own brothers, are circling; the judge knows only too well that big money makes people do bad things. Hardworking, redneck, salt-of-the-earth, the Stancil men have lived side-by-side with Deborah's family for generations. When the Stancils suffer a further tragedy, a long-hidden skeleton rattles its bones and jumps out of what the narrator thought was her long-dead past. She figures she can run the culprit back out of town or maybe get him charged with murder, but it’s probably best not to ignore him.Read more ›
I rarely discard a novel mid way, but I almost did that with this one. I only hung in there to see if the writer was using the T-Bird blunder to try to catch the culprit in the last chapters.
When a writer is incorrect in one of her/his facts and I catch it I think that there must be many others that I am not aware of or am not smart enough to catch.
I feel cheated.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
What this book (and series) is really about is life in contemporary rural North Carolina as seen through the eyes of Deborah Knott. Deborah (don't even think of calling her Deb or Debbie) is the youngest of twelve children (you need a scorecard to keep the brothers straight) and is a district court judge. Between family and litigants, the book is filled with tales of small town life - paternity suit shananigans, stock car racing history, feuds over old family burial plots, and church goers who will gamble on any day but Sunday. Hunters wives (like me) will laugh out loud over the "buck fever" story towards the end of the book.
This particular book dwells on the effect of growth on the community. Land prices are skyrocketing and tract homes are replacing fields. When an elderly landowner (and former stock car builder) is killed without direct descendents, the possible heirs are all looking to grab his land and make a killing. But did they kill to make a killing? One of the possible heirs is Deborah's ex-husband from a annulled marriage - just to make things interesting.
Bottom-line: A good book for people who want to read a book in a southern setting that finds the middle ground between the angst of literary fiction and the buffoons of Jeff Foxworthy. Folks who need non-stop mystery action may want to look elsewhere.
the way she describes the South. Makes me feel like I am there. Usually finish her books in a few days, and I'm no
speed reader ;)