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    Review of SLOW DOLLAR by Margaret Maron (see her website)


    Mysterious Press, Warner Books, August 2002

    Judge Deborah Knott suspects something odd about the carnival that has come to her small North Carolina town, but she doesn't expect murder. When someone kills a young man associated with the carnival and stuffs his mouth full of quarters, the town shrugs--they weren't local. But Deborah learns of a local connection--and suspects that the death involves more than a simple fight among carnies.

    Author Margaret Maron (see more reviews of novels by Maron) writes convincingly of the carnival life and even more convincingly about small-town North Carolina where family is key, where farming is still a way of life, and where single women and single men continue the eternal dance of attraction and fear. Deborah Knott is an engaging and compelling character. Her large family and their history together (both good and bad) gives her a depth that adds to her appeal.

    Maron does a fine job delivering the clues in the midst of the plot. Careful readers will certainly guess the killer before Deborah does, but the characters and story are so interesting that I found myself so involved in the novel that I forgot to try to outguess the author. Maron's approachable style makes SLOW DOLLAR an enjoyable and fast read.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 10/09/02

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