Christmas Mourning by Margaret Maron

Christmas Mourning was a solid installment in Maron’s long running series featuring Judge Deborah Knott and her extended family. I wouldn’t use this as an introduction to the series since there are too many characters and places to learn, but it works as a continuation. The mystery to be solved centers a cheerleader from the local high school who died in a suspicious car accident and on the deaths of two young men, one of them who went to high school with the cheerleader.

Part of what has always made this series appealing is the setting, a fictitious county located outside of Raleigh, NC. The story references things that locals know like the RBC Center and the Carolina Hurricanes and other landmarks. The characters are also familiar depictions of personality types I have met. So, bottom line, read this book if you have read others in the series, and if you haven’t, start with Bootlegger’s Daughter and prepare to get hooked.

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