Friday, October 21, 2011

Three Day Town by Margaret Maron-Great blend of 2 mystery series!

Judge Deborah Knott and Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant are on a train to New York, finally on a honeymoon after a year of marriage. January in New York might not be the perfect time to visit, but they'll take it. The trip is a Christmas present from Dwight's sister-in-law, who arranged for them to stay in an Upper West Side apartment for one week. While in New York, Deborah has been asked to deliver a package to Lt. Sigrid Harald of the NYPD. Sigrid offers to swing by the apartment to pick up the box, but when they reach the apartment, they discover that it is missing and the doorman has been murdered. Despite their best efforts to enjoy a blissful getaway, Deborah and Dwight soon find that they've teamed up with Sigrid and her team to catch the killer before he strikes again. ( summary from B&

Grand Central Publishing,  Hardcover , 288pp

Three Day Town is the latest in Margaret Maron’s Judge Deborah Knott series.  Deborah and Dwight, her husband of about one year, are finally getting away for a mini-honeymoon in NYC.  As part of the trip, they are bringing a parcel to be delivered to the daughter of one of their friends. They are staying in an apartment owned by the wife of one of Deborah’s relatives. The first night there, they attend a party next door and come home to the body of the building’s superintendent in the apartment.
Now, the story gets interesting! The investigating police officer is Lt. Sigrid Harald, the protagonist from an earlier Maron series.  Ms. Harald is an acerbic, somewhat humorless detective with a past tragedy in her life.  She is also the granddaughter of Deborah and Dwight’s elderly friend who asked them to deliver the parcel.  The contents of the parcel are somewhat shocking and may be connected to the murder.  There are all kinds of interesting characters woven throughout this story.  Well to do society types, art lovers and artists, service workers in the co-op, and New York’s finest all play a part in this mystery.
One of the interesting things about this book was seeing Deborah work away from her home base.  She and Dwight contribute to the solution but not with much cooperation from Ms. Harald.  The taciturn detective’s character becomes more likeable as we learn more about her, but she is the opposite of Deborah’s open, earthy personality. I have to say that I decided to go back and read the older series after reading this book. I asked the author if future Harald books were planned and she said no but that there would be appearances in future Knott books.
This book has plenty of suspense and the characters are well done.  One of Ms. Maron’s strengths is the believability of her characters.  They add to the story and don’t distract the reader with useless red herrings. As usual, the interplay between Dwight and Deborah is wonderfully romantic even in the midst of a murder. I have to say that I will be glad to see them back home in the next book. I just love the family dynamics and the southern ambiance in these books.  Can’t wait for the next book in the series!!
RPL Note: This book will not be available in Adult New Mysteries until November 21, 2011