Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Margaret Maron

Photo by John Maron

Margaret Maron was born in North Carolina and raised on a farm near Raleigh. She married Joseph Maron in 1959. After many years in Brooklyn, she returned to North Carolina and began writing mysteries influenced by her North Carolina roots.

What she writes: Maron is a contemporary southern writer. Her two mystery series feature women sleuths Deborah Knott, a lawyer and judge, and Sigrid Harald, a policewoman. The mysteries are classical whodunnits, suspenseful with detailed settings and convincing characters. Maron thoroughly researches her subjects, increasing the depth of her stories. Her books exude southern charm and a strong sense of place.

Margaret Maron has commented that many of her books attempt to examine the conflicts of life in North Carolina as its culture moves from an agrarian economy to one based on rapid expansion and high-tech industries. The Deborah Knott series is a portrait of life in the new South. It is narrated by the protagonist and is set in a small town, a place where everyone knows everyone else with frequent appearances by Knott's relatives and former lovers. The Sigrid Harald mysteries occur in the city and have varied settings: the art world, a dance troupe, a law office. Harald's southern heritage is a central part of her characterization.

List of works
Sigrid Harald Series
  One Coffee With (1981) Baby Doll Games (1988)
  Death of a Butterfly (1984) Corpus Christmas (1989)
  Death in Blue Folders (1985) Past Imperfect (1991)
  The Right Jack (1987) Fugitive Colors (1995)
Deborah Knott Series
  Bootlegger's Daughter (1992) -- large type -- cassette -- eBook
  Southern Discomfort (1993) -- large type -- cassette -- eBook
  Shooting at Loons (1994) -- cassette -- eBook
  Up Jumps the Devil (1996) -- cassette -- eBook
  Killer Market (1997) -- large type -- cassette
  Home Fires (1998) -- large type -- cassette -- eBook
  Storm Track (2000) -- large type -- cassette -- eBook
  Uncommon Clay (2001) -- large type -- cassette
  Slow Dollar (2002) -- large type -- CD -- cassette -- eBook
  High Country Fall (2004) -- CD -- eBook
  Rituals of the Season (2005) -- CD -- eBook
  Winter's Child (2006) -- CD
Non-series books
  Bloody Kin (1985)
  Shoveling Smoke: Selected Mystery Stories (1997)
  Last Lessons of Summer (2003) -- large type -- CD -- eBook
  Suitable for Hanging: Selected Stories (2004)
Bootlegger's Daughter, the first Deborah Knott mystery, won four major mystery awards:
    The Edgar Allan Poe Award, Best Mystery Novel, 1992
    The Agatha Christie Award, Best Mystery Novel, 1992
    The Anthony Boucher Award, Best Mystery Novel, 1992
    The Macavity Award, Best Mystery Novel, 1992
Maron's other awards include an Agatha Award, Novel, 1996, for Up Jumps the Devil; an Agatha Christie Award, Best Mystery Novel, Malice Domestic, 2000, for Storm Track; and an Agatha Award, Best Short Story (tie), Malice Domestic, 2003, for The Dog that Didn't Bark. In 2005, she received another Agatha award nomination for best novel for High Country Fall.
What the critics say
"Every Margaret Maron is a celebration of something remarkable."  - Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
"A writer gifted with the ability to convey an enthralling sense of time and place...."  - Greensboro [North Carolina] News & Record
"She's one of the most seamless Southern writers since Margaret Mitchell"  - Publishers Weekly

Biographical information taken from The St. James Guide to Crime & Mystery Writers Fourth edition, 1996.


Learn about other Mystery Authors You May Have Missed.