Slow Dollar

Slow Dollar

4.03 (1,766 ratings by Goodreads)
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The multiple winner of the most coveted prizes for mystery fiction, Margaret Maron has received immense acclaim for her highly popular Deborah Knott series. Now, in Slow Dollar, her ninth novel featuring the tough and quick-witted North Carolina judge, a ragtag carnival comes to Colleton County--with murder as the main attraction.

Opening night at the annual Harvest Festival carnival and the moonlit autumn evening has brought out half of Colleton County to ride the Tilt-O-Whirl and Ferris wheel, throw quarters at Polly's Plate Pitch, or toss ping-pong balls into bowls of live goldfish against a cacophony of music, clacking machines, and hucksterism. The air is sweetly redolent of hot grease, fried dough, grilled meats, and spun sugar...and one whiff is all it takes to send Judge Deborah Knott straight back to her childhood, holding her mother's hand, riding on the shoulders of one of her eleven brothers, or clinging to her daddy's pants leg, dazzled by the bright neon tubes and colorful chasing lights.

Unfortunately, all is not try-your-luck and stuffed prizes this year. Murder stalks the midway, and when one gaffed game ends with a brutal death, Deborah discovers more than a body.

Hidden beneath the carnival's razzle-dazzle surface is a sordid reality of danger, greed, and dark secrets--devastating confidences that Deborah has kept concealed for almost twenty years. Now as family loyalties war with judicial obligations, Deborah must struggle to win a carny's trust...before the killer pins a bull's-eye on yet another victim.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 290 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 18mm | 558g
  • Maron and Company
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0692780629
  • 9780692780626

Review quote

"Step right up! Play a game and win your girl a prize! The carnival's in town and Maron brings to this ninth Judge Deborah Knott mystery (after 2001s Uncommon Clay) the vigor and verve that have served her so well to date. Larceny, both grand and small, as well as death hover over the Ames Amusement Corporation's show on its arrival in Colleton County, N.C. Deborah, her irrepressible siblings (she's one of 12, the youngest and the only female) and some newfound kinfolk gather to mourn her great-nephew and carnival worker Brazos Hartley, after the young man is stomped to death, his mouth stuffed with quarters. The rural North Carolina dialogue and "carny" talk are perfect, especially descriptions of food, fashion and enchanting scenery of Indian summer in the South. The author draws family relationships so clearly you feel you could melt right into the crowd for barbecue, biscuits, slaw and cobbler. Before Maron is done, there's a bizarre theft of some tacky paintings, a second murder and a steamy romance. Is Judge Knott finally going to settle down and marry? Maron is one of the most seamless Southern authors since Margaret Mitchell, yet she beautifully writes a series about a New York police detective, Lieut. Sigrid Harald, with equal authority. A Knott family tree and a glossary of carny terms round out a novel that Nero Wolfe would describe as most satisfactory!" -- Publishers Weekly (2002)
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Rating details

1,766 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 30% (522)
4 46% (820)
3 22% (384)
2 2% (35)
1 0% (5)
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