JA Book Club Continues to Read Mystery Writer Margaret Maron

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 July we discussed "Hard Row", a book that looked at the trials and tribulations of the old-school farmers as well as the plight of migrant workers.  Not too many years ago, migrant workers were entirely dependent on the character of the farmer who hired them and many were denied proper sanitation, housing and protection from toxic chemicals.  Those toxic side effects provided the impetus for the grisly murder in "Hard Row."  The book for August is "Death's Half-Acre."

September's book is "Sand Sharks," October's is "Christmas Mourning," November's is "Three Day Town," and in December we will conclude the series with "Buzzard Table."

Maron's 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 August meeting is on Monday, the 13th. Please consider joining us - even if you haven't read the books, we are a fun group of readers with extensive, far-ranging tastes.

We were extremely pleased to welcome 4 new members last month but there is still plenty of room!