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Home Fires

Narrated by: C.J. Critt
Series: Deborah Knott, Book 6
Length: 7 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (110 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Ever since Bootlegger's Daughter stormed the mystery awards in 1993, Margaret Maron's Deborah Knott novels have won a dedicated following. Readers love her wise and witty heroine, intriguing plots, and charming southern country settings. Home Fires offers all this and more, as it tackles one of the contemporary South's most burning issues. When racial tension erupts in the sleepy community of Colleton County, North Carolina, Deborah is caught off guard. She is happily tending her own home fires: her simmering romance with Kidd Chapin, the house she's building on her family's land, and her campaign for reelection as district judge. But then the first black church is burned, and all of Deborah's alarms go off. Narrator C.J. Critt has received rave reviews for her performances of the Deborah Knott mysteries. Her perfect comic timing lets you fully enjoy the judge's down-home humor. Her authentic accents carry you deep into Deborah Knott's rural South to explore its rich history and current concerns.
Don't miss the other books in the Deborah Knott mystery series.
©1998 Margaret Maron (P)2004 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"Maron's novel is as eye-opening as it is charming and one that cleverly combines fast-paced action, gentle humor, and the lazy feeling of a southern summer Sunday. There's lots to like about Home Fires, including its refreshingly honest look at the modern South. A solid addition to every collection." (BookList)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 12-21-15

A Look at the New South

This is book six in the Knott series. I started with book one and I am reading my way through the series. I was attracted to the series after noting all the various awards it had won such as the Edgar, Macovity and the Anthony awards.

In this book Maron incorporates the changes and problems that integration has brought to the New South. She did this most skillfully considering the delicate topic. Judge Deborah Knott, who narrates the story, is at the start of a re-election campaign when a nephew is arrested, with two friends, for desecrating a cemetery. Then black churches are torched and two bodies uncovered; the three boys are the prime suspects. In a separate plotline the fate of a young civil rights worker, missing for twenty years is brought to light. Knott has her work cut out for her in this suspenseful story.

The book is well written. Maron lays the groundwork with subtlety, however, and she brings much more depth to her portrait of small town doings than do many of the mystery writers. The plot is engrossing and entertaining. The book is an easy read at just over seven hours. C.J. Critt is a magnificent job narrating the series.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great read

Love the Judge Knott series. You feel like you know all the characters, and you are invested in what happens next with that big, loving family you almost wish they were yours. Keep it going, write more, please Margaret Maron!!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story + offers honest insight into complexities of race

The story is a nice continuation of the series. Finally, the author acknowledges the complex legacy of race in the south. Thankfully, she does not pretend to solve the problems. Also thankfully, she leaves the listeners with some hope if they want it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So Southern you could feel the humidity!

Margaret Maron combines a trip to the old South with a good mystery. C.J Critt is terrific as she brings humor and insight to her performance.

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  • Linda
  • Mercer, MO, United States
  • 06-01-12

Strong characters and a bit of romance!

With all the mystery of the south along with the intrigue of racial politics add up to make this a great read/listen. C.J. Critt does an excellent job of bringing the characters to life just the way that Margaret Maron wrote them.