Bootlegger's Daughter by Margaret Maron is the first of the Deborah Knott Mystery series and also the first mystery I have read by Margaret Maron. The writing keeps the reader interested throughout the book. Characters are intriguing and well described and Margaret Maron obviously knows the South and the customs well, having grown up in North Carolina. This was a book club choice and a list of discussion points is available here (there are spoilers so don't read before reading the book). This one is going on my list of favorites for the year.
From the cover:
Unconventional North Carolina attorney Deborah Knott does the unthinkable when she tosses her hat into the heated race for district judge of old-boy ruled Colleton County. Then suddenly, the young daughter of Janie Whitehead begs her to investigate Janie's unsolved, eighteen-year-old murder. Taking the case, Deborah uncovers dangerous old secrets . . . and someone determined to derail her future - political or otherwise. But it will take more than sleazy scare tactics to frighten this tough steel magnolia off the scent of down-home deceit . . . even in a town where a cool slug of moonshine made by Deborah's father can go down just as smoothly as a cold case of triple murder.