Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sand Sharks-Margaret Maron

Sand Sharks
Margaret Maron
Grand Central, Aug 2009, $24.99
ISBN 9780446196116

Judge Deborah Knott looks forward to getting away from the bench and her new family after an incident with her husband Dwight and his son as she attends a conference in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. After a couple of more negative events this time at the conference, a tipsy Deborah escorted by friends pukes into the water where she sees the corpse of Judge Peter Jeffreys. Local authorities are well aware Deborah has solved homicides (see DEATH'S HALF ACRE) so they ask her to help them by going undercover and making circumspect inquiries amongst the other judicial attendees.

Deborah is taken aback when she realizes several participants are not upset and in fact sort of joyful over the death of Peter. As she digs a bit deeper, someone is aware of her efforts and scrutinizes her every move to insure if she gets a bit too close she will be victim number two.

Deborah, as she always does, turns this whodunit into an entertaining often amusing homespun regional mystery. The story line is fast-paced from the moment the judge vomits and never slows down although the climax seems unbelievably forced. Still SAND SHARKS is a solid entry as Deborah un-knots the complicated life of the victim who did bad things from the bench, but one obviously rebounded deadly.

Harriet Klausner