HOME FIRES (Traditional Mystery-North Carolina-Cont) - VG Maron, Margaret – 6th in series
Mysterious Press, 1998 – Hardcover

Judge Deborah Knott’s nephew and his two friends are arrested for damaging gravestones and paint spraying racial slurs and symbols on them. A black church, on which similar symbols have been sprayed, is burned the three are immediate suspects. When a second church is burned and people die, Deborah is determined to find the culprit before racial violence breaks out.

It had been awhile since I’d read Maron; I’d forgotten how good she is and what strong, character-driven mysteries she writes. I love Deborah’s relationship with her family and friends. Her observations on society and racism were insightful without being preachy. Deborah’s inner self of The Preacher and the Pragmatist add humor and insight into the character. The story is engrossing and I was surprised by the killer. This was a wonderful, straight-through read and a classic example as to why Ms. Maron is an award-winning author.

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