• Bootlegger's Daughter

  • By: Margaret Maron
  • Narrated by: C.J. Critt
  • Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (543 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

With a steamy Southern plot and a sassy new heroine, this Edgar Award-winning novel debuts an exceptional new series. Attorney Deborah Knott is North Carolina's answer to V.I. Warshawski, a legal sleuth with a knack for sniffing out the most baffling crimes. Deborah has just done the unthinkable: entered the heated race for judge of old-boy-ruled Colleton County. The only female candidate, she's busy reeling in voters and giving campaign speeches. There couldn't be a worse time for Gayle Whitehead to beg Deborah to investigate the 18-year-old unsolved murder of Gayle's mother, Janie. Gayle wants the busy attorney to poke around for any new clues the police may have missed all these years. Unlikely, thinks Deborah; until she discovers that not all the details of Janie's case made it out of confidential police files.

Filled with the patter of Southern voices and populated with a cast of colorful characters, Bootlegger's Daughter expertly unwinds a funny, cunningly-crafted tale of mystery and deceit in North Carolina's backwoods.

Don't miss the other books in the Deborah Knott mystery series.
©1992 Margaret Maron

Critic Reviews

  • Edgar Allan Poe Award Winner, Best Novel, 1993

"Filled with good-ole-boy pitter patter and detailed local color, the story flows smoothly." (Publishers Weekly)
"A fine start to a promising new series." (Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about Bootlegger's Daughter

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Series

I love a good series... one you can settle into and get to know the characters ... and this is just such a series. I'm finishing book #11 now and can honestly say, I like the series and the characters more with each book. I love the consistency of having the same narrator, CJ Critt, and like the fact that she doesn't "overdo" the southern "thang". She has a comfortable, easy listening voice with just enough country in it to fit the setting, in my opinion.

Deborah Knott, the main character, is an intelligent, educated woman in her 30's as the series begins. She's been around the block a few times and after a bit of a rough start when she first left home, she settled down, earned a law degree, returned to her hometown in North Carolina and is now running for judge. The stories are a wonderful mix of her life as a judge and her large family, consisting of her father (who was indeed a bootlegger "back in the day") and eleven (yes, 11) older brothers and their wives and assorted nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. That may sound a little much ... but trust me, it all blends well and makes for interesting story lines. Every story has a mystery and somehow Deborah winds up in the middle of it every time, whether by accident or her curiosity that is hard to control. She has an easy way about her and her integrity and feistiness come through in the stories. She still has a respect and love for her country roots, but she's definitely her own woman and there's a lot of humor in the writing.

I highly recommend these and hope you enjoy them as much as I have. There are some tough stories, but the books are not gritty and depressing, and are more of a cozy mystery series. Mrs. B.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent -book

This book is a great read or listen, which ever your preference. It is the first in the series that I listened too, and it got me hooked. I love Judge Deborah Knot series and highly recommend them. While it is true there is a lot going on, it is all connected and well written that I kept finding myself going "Ah ha!" as I put the pieces together. Great for anyone who loves a good tale and likes getting lost in the story!

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Too much liberal politics mixed in

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Less of the liberal, political-correctness. I'm tired of the republican bashing.

Has Bootlegger's Daughter turned you off from other books in this genre?

No.

What about C.J. Critt’s performance did you like?

I like C.J. Critt's narration.

Any additional comments?

I wont be trying any more from this author.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Mediocre performance

I love Margaret Maron's books, and speaking as a native Southerner, she gets the ambience just right. But what on earth possessed the producer to select a narrator who hasn't got (and can't do) a southern accent??? It's a completely different experience from reading the books, and not in a good way.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Engaging

This is book one in a series about attorney Deborah Knott, the daughter of an infamous North Carolina bootlegger. The book is supposed to mix a murder mystery and Southern politics together in a story. Knott is campaigning for a district court judgeship when an eighteen year old girl asks her to investigate the unsolved murder of her mother. This is a cold case as the murder took place about seventeen years ago. I learned a new expression in this story. The author used the term “yellow dog democrat”; I had never heard of this term before so looked it up. Apparently it came about as a term used in the South in the late 19th century, to refer to a person who voted the straight democratic ticket saying I would rather vote for a yellow dog than a republican. I also learned that yellow dog is a breed of dogs called Carolina dog that is indigenous to the Carolinas and not descended from Eurasian breeds.

Maron is building the characters for her series so the book seems to move slowly but flows smoothly. The book is well written but light on suspense. Some humor occurs with the battle with the good ole boys’ networks. The book won the Edgar award in 1992 and also won the Diys, Macovity and Anthony awards. This is the first book I have read by this author so I am in the process of getting to know her writing. C. J. Critt does a good job narrating the book.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good read

I enjoyed this, the first of the Deborah Knott series of books by Margaret Maron. She writes about where she is from, and she obviously knows well the people and the area. Ms. Maron weaves an enjoyable story combining a mystery with tales of the people of the south. Her characters are likeable and colorful. I look forward to reading more of the series and meeting more of Deborah Knott's family and friends.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

southern syrup and inconsistent heroine

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

herione isn't consistent. someone lies to her repeatedly, sabotages her and admits it and she wanders around a fourth of the novel with him.

Would you ever listen to anything by Margaret Maron again?

no

Any additional comments?

The mystery is adequate but not great. I found all the “how wonderful” the South is ploys a bit annoying. But I really found an aside that integration worked much better in the South than it ever would in the North that had nothing to do with the story objectionable. Based on this ethnocentric nonsense I won’t be reading anything further in the series.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Too confusing

There were just too many things going on in this book--too many plots, too many characters. Perhaps this is a book that should be read, not listened to. I had trouble remembering who was who. I thought the ending was weak. I did enjoy the main characters and the narration was well done.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

The story takes too long to get interesting

What did you like best about Bootlegger's Daughter? What did you like least?

Sorry, nothing to say. I can from the "if you can't say something nice" era

What could Margaret Maron have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Faster pace, I usually listen as I drive, and the story did not hold my intrest

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

You can only read the book as written. The narration was adequate, maybe just not my cup of tea

Was Bootlegger's Daughter worth the listening time?

No, I love mysteries, legal thrillers and medical thrillers. It's getting harder to find a series that is worth no only the money but my time.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Fun and Easy

Margaret Maron does not disappoint. Her first Deborah Knox mystery kept me guessing right up until the end - incorrectly at that! Maron's book is easy going and light, great for listening in the car. The Bootlegger's Daughter is enjoyable and clearly sets the stage for more Deborah Knox mysteries to come.

2 people found this helpful

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