Long Upon the Land cover.jpg     

Originally published in hardback in August 2015 by Grand Central Publishing

Winner of the Agatha Award for Best Novel of 2015.

Book Description

On a quiet August morning, Judge Deborah Knott's father Kezzie makes a shocking discovery on a remote corner of his farm: the body of a man bludgeoned to death. Investigating this crime, Deborah's husband, Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant, soon uncovers a long-simmering hostility between Kezzie and the slain man over a land dispute. The local newspaper implies that Deborah's family may have had something to do with the murder-and that Dwight is dragging his feet on the case.

Meanwhile, Deborah is given a cigarette lighter that once belonged to her mother. The cryptic inscription inside rekindles Deborah's curiosity about her parents' past, and how they met. For years she has wondered how the daughter of a wealthy attorney could have married a widowed, semi-illiterate bootlegger, and this time she's determined to find the answer.

But why are Deborah's brothers so reluctant to talk about the dead man? Is the murder linked to Kezzie's illegal whiskey business? And could his courtship of Deborah's mother have something to do with the bad blood between the two families? Despite Deborah's promise not to interfere in Dwight's work, she cannot stop herself from doing everything she can to help clear her brothers and her father from suspicion . . . 
[NB: Several readers have written to tell me that I credited William Wordsworth with a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It will be corrected in the paperback version. Wordsworth and Wadsworth just got muddled in my head and none of us caught it in time.]

images.jpg Planning to make Long Upon the Land the topic of your next bookclub discussion?  Click the icon for a reader's guide to aid the discussion. (No spoilers!)


Listen to Margaret discuss Long Upon the Land with Frank Stasio, host of "The State of Things" radio show, WUNC-FM (18:50)
Original airdate 08/06/2015


Critical Praise for Long Upon the Land

“…[S]trong plotting, a superb cast of recurring characters, and a rare sense of place that transports readers to rural North Carolina….all adds up to another sparkling chapter of the Knott family saga.”  (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

"Maron proves as adept as ever at melding a central mystery with an involving family story...Maron emphasizes the close relationships of Deborah's extended family and the way their rural lifestyle connects them to the land, which makes for an especially heartwarming read."  (Booklist)

"Sprinkled with the low-country vernacular and the wonderful characters of Colleton County, NC, this title is a worthy addition to Maron's series."  (Library Journal)

"Born in North Carolina...Maron knows the people she’s writing about – and more than that, cares about them." (Charlotte Observer)



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