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When Judge Deborah Knott travels to Wrightsville Beach for a summer conference for North Carolina District Court Judges, she stumbles upon the body of one of her colleagues. Meanwhile, Deborah's husband, Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant, is in Virginia with his son, tying up loose ends left by the death of his first wife. When another judge is found murdered at the conferenc When Judge Deborah Knott travels to Wrightsville Beach for a summer conference for North Carolina District Court Judges, she stumbles upon the body of one of her colleagues. Meanwhile, Deborah's husband, Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant, is in Virginia with his son, tying up loose ends left by the death of his first wife. When another judge is found murdered at the conference, it soon becomes evident that Deborah may be the killer's next target. Her relaxing trip to the seaside soon transforms into a harrowing experience, and she must summon all of her strength and investigative expertise to track down the culprit before she becomes the next victim.


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When Judge Deborah Knott travels to Wrightsville Beach for a summer conference for North Carolina District Court Judges, she stumbles upon the body of one of her colleagues. Meanwhile, Deborah's husband, Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant, is in Virginia with his son, tying up loose ends left by the death of his first wife. When another judge is found murdered at the conferenc When Judge Deborah Knott travels to Wrightsville Beach for a summer conference for North Carolina District Court Judges, she stumbles upon the body of one of her colleagues. Meanwhile, Deborah's husband, Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant, is in Virginia with his son, tying up loose ends left by the death of his first wife. When another judge is found murdered at the conference, it soon becomes evident that Deborah may be the killer's next target. Her relaxing trip to the seaside soon transforms into a harrowing experience, and she must summon all of her strength and investigative expertise to track down the culprit before she becomes the next victim.

30 review for Sand Sharks

  1. 5 out of 5

    Renee Wallace

    At this point, the formula is so predictable I can figure out most of the plot by myself. Also, my credibility level is now over-taxed with the number of life-threatening situations in which a judge can possbly find herself. I doubt a member of the Special Forces faces this many precarious predicaments.... For those of you just finding this series, go back to the beginning, and you will love them. As for me, I agree with the other 3-star reviewer: too many judges, too convoluted, and I finally sk At this point, the formula is so predictable I can figure out most of the plot by myself. Also, my credibility level is now over-taxed with the number of life-threatening situations in which a judge can possbly find herself. I doubt a member of the Special Forces faces this many precarious predicaments.... For those of you just finding this series, go back to the beginning, and you will love them. As for me, I agree with the other 3-star reviewer: too many judges, too convoluted, and I finally skipped to the last chapter, which I could have done a lot sooner and still known as much. Had to go with 3 stars, instead of 2, on the rationale that the author's name DID cause me to pick up the book in the first place. I nearly rejected it, as this has been a downhill slide. This is my last. oops! There goes my Amazon rating, sliding downhill again... shucks.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elena Santangelo

    I always enjoy a visit with Judge Deborah Knott, and especially time spent in Margaret Maron's North Carolina. This time she took me to the beach near Wilmington, NC. I visited there in person many, many years ago and this novel reminded me of the warm breezes, hospitality, and amazing seafood of the location. Deborah is attending a regional law seminar for judges and of course, bodies start cropping up. I have to admit, I had a little trouble keeping all the players straight, but I was listening I always enjoy a visit with Judge Deborah Knott, and especially time spent in Margaret Maron's North Carolina. This time she took me to the beach near Wilmington, NC. I visited there in person many, many years ago and this novel reminded me of the warm breezes, hospitality, and amazing seafood of the location. Deborah is attending a regional law seminar for judges and of course, bodies start cropping up. I have to admit, I had a little trouble keeping all the players straight, but I was listening while my Kindle read the book while I was doing chores. Probably if I'd had my full attention on the story I would have been fine. Or if the mechanical Kindle voice had know how to put the proper soft Carolina inflection on the endearment "Sugar." Or that "live oak" isn't pronounce with a short i. But that's the Kindle's fault, not Margaret's. The mystery was good, and the location and prose, delightful. Loved the resolution. Recommended for cosy fans.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Richard Brand

    By the time you get the #15 you are bound to know the modus operandi of Maron. She tells a very good story and there are enough deaths to keep you happy, enough sex to entertain, and enough human joys and evil to make it seem real. The taking of revenge is a motive that has appeared in a number of her works. This is no exception to that rule. The other reality is one crime leads to another as the murder begins the downward slope of trying to prevent being caught be doing a second or third crime. By the time you get the #15 you are bound to know the modus operandi of Maron. She tells a very good story and there are enough deaths to keep you happy, enough sex to entertain, and enough human joys and evil to make it seem real. The taking of revenge is a motive that has appeared in a number of her works. This is no exception to that rule. The other reality is one crime leads to another as the murder begins the downward slope of trying to prevent being caught be doing a second or third crime. Deborah continues to be a major weapon for justice and for solving murders. We do have several of her "past" exploits reappear in this saga. One is a helper and one is a romeo gone bad. Since I like the formula, I will certainly keep reading and will be sad when I reach the end, but none of these stories will ever take the place of Crime and Punishment.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brucie

    Totally adequate girly detective story. The judge has a very supportive friends and family network, also gets along well with police. I put up with the food and clothes remarks because they fit. Recommended the series to my Mom.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I couldn't quite follow how Deborah figured out who dunnit and therefore took precautions, but the motive made sense afterward. Excellent reader. I couldn't quite follow how Deborah figured out who dunnit and therefore took precautions, but the motive made sense afterward. Excellent reader.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Judge Deborah Knott attends a conference at Wrightsville Beach NC where a dishonest member of the bench gets unseated permanently. He had many enemies, and each one is now a suspect, for a twisty murder mystery at the seaside

  7. 5 out of 5

    Spuddie

    This review applies to the audio version. #15 Judge Deborah Knott mystery. Deborah is off to the beach at Wilmington for a judges' conference while new husband Dwight takes his son and Deborah's brother Will north to Virginia to clear out his murdered ex-wife's house and ready it for selling, while attending some seminars of his own in that area. Deborah is looking forward to a few days of relaxing on the beach, seeing old friends and scarfing down some fresh seafood, but of course ends up smack This review applies to the audio version. #15 Judge Deborah Knott mystery. Deborah is off to the beach at Wilmington for a judges' conference while new husband Dwight takes his son and Deborah's brother Will north to Virginia to clear out his murdered ex-wife's house and ready it for selling, while attending some seminars of his own in that area. Deborah is looking forward to a few days of relaxing on the beach, seeing old friends and scarfing down some fresh seafood, but of course ends up smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation when she discovers the strangled body of Judge Pete Jeffries in the water. She didn't know him well but had witnessed him being quite a butthead in just the few hours before his death that evening at Jonah's, a local restaurant. Her colleagues then fill the gaps with other stories of his greed and incompetence and the suspect list burgeons. When an older judge who is about to retire is deliberately run down on the way to a retirement reception for him, putting him into a coma, the local police detective and (privately) Deborah begin trying to figure out if the two incidents are related--and if so, how. There were a lot of different personal things going on in this episode, and the mystery seemed somewhat secondary. Which is okay, because I love visiting with Deborah and her family and friends. Another wonderful episode in this series, which has become one of my very favorites, and probably THE favorite audio series for me now, since reader C.J. Critt does such a fantastic job of interpreting who Deborah is and also all the secondary characters as well as the peripheral characters who exist for just a short time. The down side? I have to wait many moons for the release of the next one!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Vannessa Anderson

    The only problem I have with Margaret Maron is the length of time it takes for the next book comes out. Margaret Maron is one of the few authors whom I never tire of reading. In Sand Sharks we follow Judge Deborah Knott as she investigates who killed a judge that some power people in the field of law didn’t liked. Having stepmother issues with her stepson, Judge Knott throws herself into the investigation. The southern humor and the strong storytelling by C.J. Critt will capture you and not let yo The only problem I have with Margaret Maron is the length of time it takes for the next book comes out. Margaret Maron is one of the few authors whom I never tire of reading. In Sand Sharks we follow Judge Deborah Knott as she investigates who killed a judge that some power people in the field of law didn’t liked. Having stepmother issues with her stepson, Judge Knott throws herself into the investigation. The southern humor and the strong storytelling by C.J. Critt will capture you and not let you go until you read the words “the end.” A great read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    Deborah Knott is at a judges conference, while hubby Dwight is attending to other matters in Virginia. When Deborah discovers the body of a colleague in the water, and a second judge is nearly killed in a hit and run, she accepts the local detective’s request to be his eyes and ears in the hunt for information. The trouble with stories that takes place at a large gathering is that many names are introduced, but only four or five are memorable. In Sand Sharks, it was difficult to keep track of eve Deborah Knott is at a judges conference, while hubby Dwight is attending to other matters in Virginia. When Deborah discovers the body of a colleague in the water, and a second judge is nearly killed in a hit and run, she accepts the local detective’s request to be his eyes and ears in the hunt for information. The trouble with stories that takes place at a large gathering is that many names are introduced, but only four or five are memorable. In Sand Sharks, it was difficult to keep track of everyone at first, but I gradually got there. But then more names came up and I stopped trying to sort the judges out, especially when several were only mentioned once or twice. On the up side, Margaret Maron does such a superb job of describing the gorgeous beach and town settings that it was easy to visualize. The pacing is spot on, and the secondary characters who did stand out added enough color and depth to keep them interesting. Sand Sharks wasn’t the most suspenseful of her books, but it was enjoyable.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Started re-reading all the ones on my bookshelf, hoping to read them in order, but not quite succeeding. Love the characters and the settings, and the mysteries are not always obvious. Well worth reading, but do the series in order. Deborah Knott series 1. Bootlegger's daughter - MARON, MARGARET 2. Southern discomfort - MARON, MARGARET 3. Shooting at loons - MARON, MARGARET 4. Up jumps the devil - MARON, MARGARET 5. Killer market - MARON, MARGARET 6. Home fires - MARON, MARGARET 7. Storm track - MARON Started re-reading all the ones on my bookshelf, hoping to read them in order, but not quite succeeding. Love the characters and the settings, and the mysteries are not always obvious. Well worth reading, but do the series in order. Deborah Knott series 1. Bootlegger's daughter - MARON, MARGARET 2. Southern discomfort - MARON, MARGARET 3. Shooting at loons - MARON, MARGARET 4. Up jumps the devil - MARON, MARGARET 5. Killer market - MARON, MARGARET 6. Home fires - MARON, MARGARET 7. Storm track - MARON, MARGARET 8. Uncommon clay - MARON, MARGARET 9. Slow dollar - MARON, MARGARET 10. High country fall - MARON, MARGARET 11. Rituals of the season - MARON, MARGARET 12. Winter's child - MARON, MARGARET 13. Hard row - MARON, MARGARET 14. Death's half acre - MARON, MARGARET 15. Sand sharks - MARON, MARGARET 16. Christmas mourning - MARON, MARGARET 17. Three-day town - MARON, MARGARET 18. The buzzard table - MARON, MARGARET 19. Designated daughters - MARON, MARGARET 20. Long upon the land - MARON, MARGARET http://ww2.kdl.org/libcat/WhatsNext_P...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jo (Mixed Book Bag)

    Another slow walk with Judge Knott. This time she is at a judges meeting and we get to follow her as she visits with friends, sees several men she interacted with in the past and watch as she helps solve the murder of a fellow judge. Dwight is at another conference and Cal is visiting friends so this one features mostly Deborah. I am listening to these out of order so my next one I will check out will the the one before this. I keep moving back to get to the one where she and Dwight get together Another slow walk with Judge Knott. This time she is at a judges meeting and we get to follow her as she visits with friends, sees several men she interacted with in the past and watch as she helps solve the murder of a fellow judge. Dwight is at another conference and Cal is visiting friends so this one features mostly Deborah. I am listening to these out of order so my next one I will check out will the the one before this. I keep moving back to get to the one where she and Dwight get together. I did love meeting Alan, who was almost her first husband. Only reason he was not - he was still married to someone else when he married Deborah.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rachel N.

    Deborah Knott travels to Wrightsville Beach, NC for an annual judges conference. While there Deborah finds the body of another judge who has been strangled and thrown into a river. Deborah of course ends up being asked to help in the investigation by the local detective. I enjoy this series but feel a few of the books have been too much about Deborah's extended family and not enough of a mystery. It was nice to have Deborah's family mostly absent for a change to focus more on the mystery. This t Deborah Knott travels to Wrightsville Beach, NC for an annual judges conference. While there Deborah finds the body of another judge who has been strangled and thrown into a river. Deborah of course ends up being asked to help in the investigation by the local detective. I enjoy this series but feel a few of the books have been too much about Deborah's extended family and not enough of a mystery. It was nice to have Deborah's family mostly absent for a change to focus more on the mystery. This time a few chapters were told from the detectives POV which I don't remember the author doing in previous books.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Marty

    Judge Deborah Knott has recently married Dwight, a lawyer (widower) who came complete with a 9 year old son. Now she was leaving to attend a judges conference and would have a chance to be on her own for a week at a beautiful beach resort! … Luxury! Unfortunately the night before the conference opens, when leaving the restaurant where she and her friend had dinner, she stumbled on the body of another judge… one disliked by most of the people attending the conference. Who could have killed the ju Judge Deborah Knott has recently married Dwight, a lawyer (widower) who came complete with a 9 year old son. Now she was leaving to attend a judges conference and would have a chance to be on her own for a week at a beautiful beach resort! … Luxury! Unfortunately the night before the conference opens, when leaving the restaurant where she and her friend had dinner, she stumbled on the body of another judge… one disliked by most of the people attending the conference. Who could have killed the judge??

  14. 5 out of 5

    SueChor

    This book wasn’t very interesting, run of the mill, I thought. Descriptions of food, clothing, locations (the South), and superficial relationships left this reader bored. A murder did not enliven the story. Dialogue did not help. “Martha said, ‘Oh, look! There’s Rosemary and Dave.’” (page 79) Best part was page 46, where I ran across a character sporting a version of my own slightly unusual last name, Corpening, not much of an advertisement for the book. Gave it the second star because of that. This book wasn’t very interesting, run of the mill, I thought. Descriptions of food, clothing, locations (the South), and superficial relationships left this reader bored. A murder did not enliven the story. Dialogue did not help. “Martha said, ‘Oh, look! There’s Rosemary and Dave.’” (page 79) Best part was page 46, where I ran across a character sporting a version of my own slightly unusual last name, Corpening, not much of an advertisement for the book. Gave it the second star because of that. Hmm, maybe I should change it to one?

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    During a conference for North Carolina judges, Deborah Knott finds the body of a colleague close to the restaurant most of the judges had dined in and then discovers he was definitely unethical. Next, another judge who was to be celebrated at his retirement party nearly dies from being hit by a car. Good mystery but a few too much about what she was wearing and the flirting, plus I have no idea the reason for the title.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    Picked this up in the library on a cruise ship when bad weather kept us from entering a port. Didn't know that it was a series. Humorous (although I'm not sure it meant to me), lots of descriptions of scenery and people's appearances and clothing which has nothing to do with the plot. One review on the back said it was a "good beach read" but that is giving it too much credit. Picked this up in the library on a cruise ship when bad weather kept us from entering a port. Didn't know that it was a series. Humorous (although I'm not sure it meant to me), lots of descriptions of scenery and people's appearances and clothing which has nothing to do with the plot. One review on the back said it was a "good beach read" but that is giving it too much credit.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    I enjoy Judge Knott stories and this one didn't disappoint. Judge Knott goes to a convention of Judges and of course someone dies and Judge Knott as always finds the body. It's another judge who is killed and the police need her help to sort out all the facts. I enjoy Judge Knott stories and this one didn't disappoint. Judge Knott goes to a convention of Judges and of course someone dies and Judge Knott as always finds the body. It's another judge who is killed and the police need her help to sort out all the facts.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary Pat

    Enjoying entire series. Set in North Carolina and contains several references to the culture, dialect and habits of the people in NC mountains, our new home. Plots are interesting and believeable. Family interactions add depth and interest.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Linda Owen

    A favorite series of mine, and somehow I missed this one because Deborah and Dwight have only been married less than a year. She is in Wilmington at a judge's conference. A slimy colleague is killed, so there are many possible suspects. There are false trails aplenty. A favorite series of mine, and somehow I missed this one because Deborah and Dwight have only been married less than a year. She is in Wilmington at a judge's conference. A slimy colleague is killed, so there are many possible suspects. There are false trails aplenty.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pete Partin

    Slow. A true cozy, but nothing clever about it. Knott is a judge in the Carolinas, goes to a judges' conference, another judge is murdered and Knott helps solve the murder. A lot of eating and drinking - Slow. A true cozy, but nothing clever about it. Knott is a judge in the Carolinas, goes to a judges' conference, another judge is murdered and Knott helps solve the murder. A lot of eating and drinking -

  21. 5 out of 5

    Emily Higgins

    Judge Deborah Knott is attending a conference for judges when she discovers the dead body of one of her colleagues. As is her nature, Deborah keeps picking away at the facts surrounding the murder until she is able to unravel the mystery.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Trent

    It was ok. Entertaining and not predictable. Loved reading about Wilmington and Southport NC. Visited them often.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    Intelligent, well-written series. I especially enjoy hearing from two of the narrator's inner voices, "The Preacher" and "The Pragmatist." Intelligent, well-written series. I especially enjoy hearing from two of the narrator's inner voices, "The Preacher" and "The Pragmatist."

  24. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    Perhaps Maron's darkest Deborah Knott book to date. Perhaps Maron's darkest Deborah Knott book to date.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Terry Tschann Skelton

    Really a 3.5. Quick read. Enjoyable.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    A Judge's convention turns deadly A Judge's convention turns deadly

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jane Neumann

    For its genre, a fine enough read. Lightweight mystery. Just the mindless balance I needed between deeper books.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This series is right about where I am in the midst of the pandemic.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

    Sand Sharks is the fifteenth book in the Margaret Maron's A Deborah Knott Mystery series and the sixth I have read. The series' protagonist is Judge Deborah Knott who lives in Colleton County, North Carolina with her husband Dwight and stepson Cal. A conference for the North Carolina district court judges couldn't come soon enough for her to relieve the pressure of being a new wife and mom. The conference takes place at Wrightsville and lying beneath the hot summer sun and reconnecting with old Sand Sharks is the fifteenth book in the Margaret Maron's A Deborah Knott Mystery series and the sixth I have read. The series' protagonist is Judge Deborah Knott who lives in Colleton County, North Carolina with her husband Dwight and stepson Cal. A conference for the North Carolina district court judges couldn't come soon enough for her to relieve the pressure of being a new wife and mom. The conference takes place at Wrightsville and lying beneath the hot summer sun and reconnecting with old friends over delicious seafood dinners in nearby Wilmington sooths her disposition. That is until she finds a dead body on the beach one night when she stumbles on the strangled corpse of one her colleagues. Even though Dwight always tells her he is the one to investigate and she should stay out of trouble, she begins her own quiet skulking. A subplot involves a fellow judge who had an affair with a paralegal in his office. His wife Rosemary finds out and threatens to divorce him, take half his assets, ask for alimony, and generally make his life miserable. Even though Dave told Rosemary he was skipping the conference, he is there when Rosemary arrives with Deborah. He manages to have her appear on their balcony together so everyone can see them and constitute condonation, the implied pardon of an offense as if the act had not been committed. When she later catches him in their condo while she is supposed to be out shopping with a redheaded bimbo, she is finally finished. Divorce on! Maron utilizes an interesting technique when she has Deborah listen to two sides of an issue in the form of a pragmatist and a preacher who metaphorically perch on her shoulder and give advice. She is trying to solve the murder of Judge Jeffreys and discovers Judge Fitzhume was the last person to see him alive. She meets the local sheriff Edwards and begins to work with him. Deborah takes a trip to Wilmington to shop and notices a window display of posters depicting marine life. One catches her eye titled: "Land Sharks" with cartoon drawings of various sharks rendered into courtroom scenes with each type of shark taking on lawyer-like aspects exaggerated for comic effect. She meets a woman named Blankenthrope and begins a conversation with her over lunch. She mentions that most people assume she is the heiress and says that is why she was so upset when she was out with Allan Stancil and he stuck her for dinner when they had stopped an ATM on the way over and he got three-hundred dollars and went to the restroom and never came back. Deborah asks what time it was and the answer is nine-thirty. Now, she is on the hunt for evidence against him, When she, Fitz and two other women are almost run over by a car, she realizes she is in over her head. Read this great book to find out what happens. Five stars.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Don

    It might surprise some of you to learn that if I were told that I could read only one genre for the rest of my life, I'd choose to spend my time with mysteries. Somehow, for the past couple of years, I haven't read many of them. It's not that I don't love them as much as ever; it's just that other great books have caught my attention. But, since it's a new year, I decided I'd start to modify that trend by reading Margaret Maron's "Sand Sharks." This is not the first book in the series, but I don It might surprise some of you to learn that if I were told that I could read only one genre for the rest of my life, I'd choose to spend my time with mysteries. Somehow, for the past couple of years, I haven't read many of them. It's not that I don't love them as much as ever; it's just that other great books have caught my attention. But, since it's a new year, I decided I'd start to modify that trend by reading Margaret Maron's "Sand Sharks." This is not the first book in the series, but I don't believe I've read any others. As the book begins, we learn that district court judge Deborah Knott has recently married and is having some challenging moments with her new stepson. She is on her way to a convention of judges. In the beginning, things go as planned, but very soon, a rather unpopular judge is killed. Shortly thereafter, yet another judge experiences the same fate and Knott assists with the investigation. I must admit that, while I would certainly recommend this book, I had rather mixed feelings about it. On the positive side, the mystery is quite good and I didn't figure it out prior to the end. Maron portrays the beach community in North Carolina where the convention takes place so well that I felt like I was there. (I don't believe I've ever visited the area, but I suspect that those who have will enjoy reading this portrayal and will feel that they are visiting familiar turf.) That being said, there were certain elements of this book which made me wonder why the series is so popular. I'm not sure why the beginning scene with her new stepson is there; perhaps I missed something, or maybe it's a way to connect those who have read the earlier books in the series with the current goings on in Knott's life. When Knott gets to the convention, she behaves like an 18 year old sorority girl. I got tired of hearing about how much she drank, how she use to "party" with the men she met at the convention and how she had to educate them about the fact that she is now a married woman who can't engage in such shenanigans. Somehow, these scenes just didn't ring true for me; they simply don't match my image of a judge. As the book moves forward, there's much less of that and, once the mystery takes center stage, things improve dramatically, though the pacing seemed a bit uneven throughout. Given Maron's excellent reputation and the amount of recognition this series has received, I'll in all likelihood try another one. If you want to begin 2014 with an intriguing, if not terribly memorable, mystery, this may very well be a wise choice.

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