Title: Death's Half Acre
Author: Margaret Maron
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Deborah Knott, district judge in a small town in North Carolina, is concerned about the changes taking place in her area. The old farms are being broken up and ritzy housing developments are growing up everywhere. Along with the new houses come outsiders who think their money trumps the family relationships and trust built on generations of local families.
As worrisome as the new money is, things get dramatically worse when Candace Bradshaw, chairman of the county commissioners, is found murdered in her big new expensive house. Allegations of political misconduct and insider corruption abound. Deborah's husband, who is a sheriff's deputy, investigates the case, and Deborah finds herself getting drawn in. In addition, her dad, patriarch of one of the old families and a former bootlegger, is acting strange and Deborah is worried about what is going on with him.
The fourteenth mystery in this series is a big hit for Margaret Maron. Those readers who have followed the series will be pleased to come back for another visit with Deborah and her eccentric family. Those readers for whom this is a first read will be quickly drawn into the series and immediately go look for earlier books in the series. I especially liked this one as I live in the area and could relate to the locations and the social relationships outlined. A solid win for Maron.