Originally published in hardcover (left) by Crime Club, 1985. Ebook edition (middle) published by Maron & Company, 2011. Updated Ebook edition cover (right) published by Maron & Company, April 2015.
After three critically acclaimed mysteries set against the art world of New York, this briskly paced, atmospheric thriller about a murderous web of conspiracy and greed in a quiet rural commumity was Margaret Maron's first use of her North Carolina setting. Considered a prequel to her Judge Deborah Knott series, it introduces many of the "Colleton County" characters that readers came to know and love in the later books. Readers familiar with the series will be amused to meet Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant before his life became irrevocably entangled with the judge's. The Indianapolis News said, "More than just a mystery; it is a portrait of a place," and the Houston Chronicle agreed: "Dramatic and satisfying . . . So rich in detail and description of the new South that you can almost hear the North Carolina twang and taste the barbecue."
When Jake Honeycutt is killed in a hunting accident, his pregnant wife, Kate, decides to return to the North Carolina farm where Jake grew up to have his baby. A successful fabric designer, she leaves behind the fast-paced life of Manhattan and a comfortable apartment on the Upper West Side for the idyllic world of cotton and tobacco fields, of piney woods and quiet starlit nights. But Kate's arrival at the farm is far from peaceful: on her first day, she stumbles across the body of one of Jake's Vietnam war buddies and discovers that her husband's hunting accident was no accident but premeditated murder.
Critical Praise for Bloody Kin
“A first-rate mystery and first-rate writing . . . a richly evocative tale of violence and greed in rural North Carolina.” (The [Raleigh] News and Observer)
“Rich in vivid details and warm in its depiction of numerous credible minor characters.” (The Literary Lantern)