The Jane Austen Book club is reading Margaret Maron this year. She's a North Carolina native whose first novel, "Bootlegger's Daughter" won every major mystery award for best first novel. That book was the first to feature Deborah Knott, whose colorful Daddy was a bootlegger. Deborah is an attorney who decides to take a stand against "mean-minded judicial pettiness" and take on the Old Boy's Club by running for a retiring judge's seat. For March we read "Killer Market" and "Home Fires." For April we are discussing "Storm Track" -- which deals with a murder in the midst of a hurricane - and "Uncommon Clay" -- set in the pottery district of North Carolina. Both are fascinating reads, rich in detail about North Carolina. Disclosure - I was born there but left at the age of three months.
We will be reading all her books this year, trying to read two a month because they are fast reads, especially compared to our last author, Diana Gabaldon. Her books explore her extensive family and often take place in different parts of North Carolina as Judge Knott is asked to fill in other jurisdictions. They are very enjoyable - not quite a cozy, but not thrillers either. They are deeply rooted in place and populated with interesting characters. Join us on the 2nd Monday of each month at 6:00 pm in the Carnegie Building, 244 W. Michigan. We are actively looking for new members so don't be shy. Our April meeting is on Monday, the 9th.