Margaret Maron – Shooting at Loons

5. Shooting at Loons by Margaret Maron (1994)
The Judge Deborah Knott Mysteries Book 3
Length: 229 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 14 January 2014
Finished: 16 January 2014
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 21 November 2013
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and Margaret Maron is a new author for me.

When Judge Deborah Knott is asked to substitute for a hospitalized judge in gracious old Beaufort, North Carolina, she is looking forward to spending a restful week at her cousin’s cottage on nearby Harkers Island – relative peace and quiet is Deborah’s plan for the entire week.  However, when her first clamming expedition turns up the corpse of a well-known fisherman in the shallow water, peace and quiet quickly flies out the window. Discovering the body puts her right in the middle of the contentious fight between the long-established locals who make their living from the sea and the more recent – and rising – tide of well-to-do “dingbatters”: weekenders and land developers who view the coast as their personal playground and gold mine.

Deborah soon realizes that the centuries-old way of life in this isolated part of the South is just as endangered as loons and sea turtles, and the fisherman’s murder is somehow tied to the coming changes. In her time both on the bench as well as off, Deborah has certainly seen her share of change, and she’s intensely aware of the rage and fear and greed such changes arouse. 

Even so, sipping her bourbon in the fresh salt air does wonders for Deborah’s weary soul, and life at the beach takes a definite upswing when she meets a game warden who’s hunting for loon poachers. Yes, in her mind, Deborah’s short vacation certainly has proved to be beneficial. Not until a second murder occurs and a lover from her past is implicated does Deborah realize she’s up to her own neck in intrigue – and dangerously close to a killer…

To be perfectly honest, I may not have been in the proper mood to read this book to begin with. It was very difficult for me to get into the flow of the story. I had such trouble keeping the characters straight in my mind, that it lessened my enjoyment of the book somewhat. Actually, it was only when the story picked up appreciably – about halfway though, I think – that I began to enjoy it more.

I have one other book by Margaret Maron on my bookshelf, the twelfth book in this series. I may read Winter’s Child some time in the future, but I have to give this book – Shooting at Loons – a B!

B! – (80-88%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

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