I've been a Margaret Maron fan for a whole lot of years.
During the many years that I've been a reader (all my life), I've always had some favorite writers.
Many have been on my "auto-buy" list.
Many no longer are.
Margaret Maron, however, is still firmly at the top of that list and I see no signs that she'll be leaving it any time soon.
Her Deborah Knott is a mainstay in my literary world.
My favorite Deborah novels are the ones in which Kezzie makes an appearance, as he does in DESIGNATED DAUGHTERS.
I have a big ol' soft spot in my heart for Kezzie. The relationship between he and Deborah is sweet and complex, and is always perfectly rendered by Ms. Maron.
It's been a delight watching the development of the characters through this pitch perfect series, and now we're witnessing another relationship grow and bloom - that of Deborah and Cal, which I'm finding to be heartwarming and true.
I don't believe there's a writer out there with a finger on the pulse of the south in the same sure way of Margaret Maron.
She manages to finely weave old traditions and new, fairly and honestly allowing her readers to see the good and bad of both. The old south had good and bad just as the new south does - it's a dichotomy some southern writers try to gloss over. Ms. Maron gives them to us straight.
DESIGNATED DAUGHTERS was a deftly written, firmly plotted story showcasing the strength of family as Deborah's Aunt Rachel spends her last hours in hospice, but is murdered before she can die the peaceful death she deserves. Who on earth murders an old woman on her deathbed?
Some crafty and unexpected twists and turns, purest Maron style, carry us to the end of this latest in the series. But not without some Knott family fun including music, good food and the down home southern charm we've come to expect from this first class author.
And - on a purely personal note, I'd like to thank Margaret for allowing "the good looking Donald Barley" to be a part of this latest installment. The man hasn't stopped smiling about it yet! He's honored and I'm tickled pink.
Disclaimer: I purchased my copy of Designated Daughters No review was promised and the above is my unbiased opinion.