Tar Heel Voices and Author Margaret Maron coming to New Bern

Best-selling author Margaret Maron comes to New Bern to kick off the New Bern Craven County Public Library series, Tar Heel Voices, an exploration of works showcasing life and culture in North Carolina. Maron, a native Tar Heel, is the author of twenty-six novels and two collections of short stories, including the popular and best-selling series of mystery novels featuring Judge Deborah Knott, a district court judge from fictional “Colleton County,” North Carolina. As district court judge, Knott travels all over the state and her cases (and the novels) take her to Harkers Island, (Shooting at Loons), among the potters in central NC (Uncommon Clay), to the High Point furniture market (Killer Market), and the Blue Ridge Mountains (High Country Fall), among many familiar North Carolina locations. Through murder and mayhem, family trials and tribulations, hurricanes and scorching tobacco fields, Judge Knott dispenses justice across her beloved North Carolina with an even hand and a good sense of humor. Beyond the mystery stories, the novels explore author Maron’s concerns for North Carolina as the state transitions from agriculture to high tech, and touch upon problems of race, migrant labor, politics, and unstructured growth.

The New York Times Book Review states, “Every Margaret Maron [novel] is a celebration of something remarkable.” Ms Maron still lives on the family tobacco farm a few miles southeast of Raleigh. (The farm is also the setting for her novel Bootlegger’s Daughter, numbered among the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association.) In 2004, she received the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for best North Carolina novel of the year. Maron is also a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine and in 2008 she was honored with the North Carolina Award for Literature, the state’s highest civilian honor.

“Ms. Maron is a wonderful speaker and a great way to kick off our Tar Heel Voices series which aims to celebrate North Carolina as an inspiration to the creative process,” says library director Joanne Straight. “Margaret Maron herself is a North Carolina native who returned to her family home following time in Italy and New York. Not only does she have deep roots in our state but she vividly reflects that in her writing.”

Maron will be presenting a lecture titled: “Coming Home with the Bootlegger’s Daughter;” Bootlegger’s Daughter is the title of the first book in the Deborah Knott mystery series.

“I think it’s especially wonderful that Margaret Maron is coming this year when we are celebrating New Bern’s 300th birthday since she so clearly loves being a Tar Heel and is so interested in the history and cultural life of this state,” says Straight. “We are really excited to have her and are looking forward to introducing her to our community.”

Tar Heel Voices: Author Margaret Maron will be held Saturday, March 20 at 2 p.m. in the dining room of the New Bern Scottish Rite Temple, 516 Hancock Street in downtown New Bern. Free tickets will be available at the New Bern Craven County Public Library at 400 Johnson Street in New Bern beginning March 1. There will be no admission without a ticket. Although there is no charge for admission, donations to the New Bern Craven County public library are welcome.

A wine and cheese reception with Margaret Maron will be held on March 19 (the evening before) from 7-8:30 p.m. at the home of Dr. John and Maria Cho in downtown New Bern. Tickets are $20 per person. Tickets are limited and will be available for sale at the library beginning March 1. All proceeds will benefit continuing programs at the New Bern Craven County Public Library.

Margaret Maron’s appearance is made possible through the generous sponsorship of: Harris, Creech, Ward &amp Blackberry, P.A., Leigh A. Wilkinson, the Arts Department of the New Bern Woman”s Club and the Friends of the Library.

For more information about Tar Heel Voices and the Margaret Maron events please call the New Bern Craven County Public Library: 252-638-7800.

Submitted by: the New Bern Craven County Library.