Margaret Maron skillfully draws on her North Carolina roots to pen her well-crafted, suspenseful mysteries. Her creative talents have earned her the coveted Edgar, Agatha, Macavity, and Anthony Awards. Salt-of-the-earth characters, vivid with lilting, down-home humor and unwavering opinions, step from the pages when narrator C.J. Critt breathes life into them.
"A winning tale of closeted skeletons and family feuds." (Library Journal)
This is book four in the series about life in a contemporary rural small town in North Carolina. The book was published in 1996. Our protagonist Judge Deborah Knott is a personable character that makes the series work. Even though the book is placed in North Carolina it could be any small rural town. I think that is one of the things that hooked me into continue reading the series. I grew up in a small rural town so much of the stories resonate with me.
In this story we see the effects of growth and increasing property values with the arrival of the interstate highway. The action begins with two murders after they had refused to sell their land to a real estate speculator. Judge Knott set off to investigate on her own and finds herself suspicious of one of her eleven brothers and some lifelong friends. I enjoyed the twist and turns of the plot and the legal turn to the story with laws about inheritance. Humor runs throughout this story as it has in the prior three stories.
Maron is an excellent writer and a great story teller. I enjoyed her descriptions of various behaviors toward the land. I am looking forward to book five. C. J. Critt does a great job narrating the story. I noted the book was produced by Recorded Books; they always publish a polished recorded book.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Once again Deborah works thru the twisted skeins of the plot to get to the truth and make things come straight. A worthwhile read/listen. Mystery, intrigue and a bit of romance!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
A combination murder mystery and family drama, Up Jumps the Devil delivers the clearest image yet Deborah Knott's large and diverse family and background. The mystery is a bit of a yawn, and the narrative is a somewhat disjointed, but, if you are a Knott fan, you will delight in the details of her and her family's background. If you cotton to a more plot driven yarn, you may not be as satisfied. The narration is a bit stilted. In some places it seems Critt is injecting perkiness into her delivery of a sentence to cover her lack of understanding of its context. Her earlier Knott series performances were more satisfying.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
I particularly like this series because of the way it captures the "feel" of semi-rural North Carolina. C.J. Critt's narration adds to the slow southern feel (and the text makes it clear that a southern accent doesn't mean stupid). The mysteries are usually pretty easy to figure out, but the scenery along the way is lovely.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful
I have read or listened to many of Maron's Deborah Knott mysteries. I tend to not like legal thrillers. Her mysteries are a brilliant exception. The most realistic presentation of lawyers and courtrooms in fiction and as a lawyer, I know. Enjoy
Still just a mediocre series but getting better each time, so I'm still keeping up with it to see if this trend continues. The truly saving factor is the narrator. She does a marvelous and captivating job. Makes even an average plot sound interesting.
Would you listen to Up Jumps the Devil again? Why?
I am sure I will astheweb of the cvommunity is always a pleasure to revisit
What was one of the most memorable moments of Up Jumps the Devil?
The devious solution of the property problem solved of course by Kezzie Knott
Which character – as performed by C.J. Critt – was your favorite?
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Any additional comments?
The whole series is always a pleasure to revisit when I need a few hours of relaxing reading
I loved this book, I have lived in the part of the world and it reminded me of so many things. Just a fun book, lovely humor and full of interesting people. Good mystery.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful