Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Hard Row by Margaret Maron
A rainy day, no pressing engagements, and a Margaret Maron mystery - what could be more perfect? Judge Deborah Knott, star of a Maron series, is one of my favorite fictional characters. I worried when she married Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant that her life might get a little dull. Well, not to worry, her life is just as hectic as ever and she and Dwight are a great crime-solving team.
Add to the mix the fact that Dwight's son Cal is living with them full time since his mother died. The poor kid is grieving for his mom, getting used to a new school, new friends, and a new stepmom with an enormous family nearby all at the same time. Trust Deborah to work it out though. She grew up with all those brothers; she knows boys.
This mystery is unusually gruesome in that body parts are found all over the area near a huge farm which belongs to Judson "Buck" Harris who is divorcing his wife Suzanne, better known as Suzu. They employ many migrant workers. Suzu sees to it that they are supplied with decent shelter and items like refrigerators that work, etc. Buck could care less whether he works them to death or what.
While Dwight is trying to find out who the body parts belong to (the head is inconveniently missing) an Alzheimer's patient disappears and they find his hand too. Now they have two right hands and other parts and the mystery deepens. Meanwhile, there are also other story lines going on, including Deborah's best friend Portland having a baby. The many happy returns are all yours though when you read Hard Row.
I borrowed this one from the library.