JA Book Club Reads Margaret Maron for May

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 April discussed "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.  For May we will be reading "Slow Dollar" a murder mystery set in a carnival which has come to Deborah's hometown and "high Country Fall."

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 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, May 21st.