Long Upon the Land

Long Upon the Land by Margaret Maron

North Carolina land and family ties are a major part of Deborah Knott mysteries, and in Long Upon the Land, which begins with an outline of the Knott Family Tree, Judge Knott leads the reader through the Knott family history and the feuds that are a part of her heritage. Her father, Kezzie, discovers a dead body on his farm. Kezzie’s background includes the production of personal whiskey along with aiding and abetting others in the neighborhood in their illegal business. Judge Knott, learning of a feud between her father and the dead man, works to prove her father's innocence, but her search for the killer is only one of the mysteries to be solved. Why and how did her mother, a well-educated woman from a good family, and her father, a bootlegger, meet and marry? Key to the family mystery is an engraved cigarette lighter left to her by her mother. The combination of the two puzzles produces a touching story of love and jealousy and curiosity. – Wendy Foster Leigh